Chasing Perfection: Everyone Loses

As a college basketball fan I was looking forward to the NCAA Men’s National Championship last night. The match-up was solid. The teams were talented and I was excited to watch a very competitive game.

Unfortunately, that’s not exactly what happened. There were fleeting moments of brilliant play and emotional intensity that make college sports so much fun to watch, but mostly I was distracted by the officials desire to make the game fair and right. The second half in particular was so diminished I was tempted to trade sleep for what was supposed to be entertainment.

I felt like I was watching a new brand of sports where the game is stopped after each play to review and adjust as necessary anything that was missed in live action. The championship game last night isn’t the first example of this new era in sports. There are several ruined games when good intentions and advanced technology impeded the very fairness that was trying to be achieved.

Did we forget that life isn’t fair? (even with instant replay — calls were missed…shhhhh)

Did we neglect the lesson of opportunity/cost or ROI? (a game that is constantly interrupted has no flow, no momentum…no life)

Sadly I think the answer is yes. We’ve traded in what we knew about life for the *almost attainable perfection that new technology brings us. Different views, speeds, angles and sounds allow us to dissect each and every moment of a game today, but does that enrich the game? Does it better prepare student athletes for their lives off the court?

Can you imagine such a magnifying glass over every second of your life?

You would never get anything done! We would be paralyzed by analysis. And that’s why I’m writing this blog.

I know too many companies that wholeheartedly adopt the latest technology, specifically data analytics, of this modern age and forget what they should know intuitively as human beings. People are people — not machines. You can’t correct a code in the human DNA to prevent all future mistakes by analyzing all of their decisions.

You have to have conversations. You have to listen and teach. You have to forgive and be forgiven. You have to make decisions without knowing the outcome. You have to use both your intuition and logic to find wisdom. You have to realize that each person has their unique definition of what fair is and isn’t. In other words you have to get in touch with your human side and live in the moment vs. in a spreadsheet.

Too many individuals struggle living life in the moment. Our ancestors had no choice, but we do. We have access to an abundance of information and could do analysis all day, but are we making better decisions? More importantly are we leading better lives?

I don’t believe perfection is attainable and I believe that tunnel vision on achieving perfection makes you miss life around you. Just like in the game last night there is a choice. You can try to catch each and every call and hope to get the majority of them correct using the latest tools available or you could use your experience as a person to make the best decision you can at the time while keeping your eye on the prize…life is happening here. Don’t prevent it from happening because of the obsession to have what life can’t give you…fairness.

So can we all get back to living as human beings built from DNA vs. binary code?

While new technology is exciting and we celebrate Artificial Intelligence as the next “Big Breakthrough”, we shouldn’t forget the basic instincts that were given to us from birth. We shouldn’t forget the impact of technology on fellow human beings and how the pursuit of perfection can often lead to the loss of the present moment — the most precious gift of life because it’s so fleeting — at least it’s supposed to be.