Addicted to Perfection

As usual, I want to describe scenes from professional racing. That doesn’t mean this is about racing and doesn’t apply to you, so go grab a beer and listen closely, cuz’ you get something for free from a professional…

For the most professional racers I know, and that included myself- EVERYTHING needs to be 100% in order. In the right place, at the right time, and in a complete routine. Only THEN it can channel positive energy to make the moment count and also to be ‘perfect’. The moment when your team leaves the starting grid and you are on your own. This routine literally restarts after a race- winding back/up for the next one. It doesn’t feel this way, but it’s there. While the racer goes for some Supermoto and lots of mountain biking… he already dials towards that moment of perfection next Sunday. He’s talking to his friends and laughs. It doesn’t feel like it, but it’s there. It has begun already. The bike gets prepared down to look at each bolt. The office works to organize travels for each member. The team arrives in the paddock and sets everything up. There is fun- lots of fun so that it doesn’t feel like it… but it’s there. Practice sessions- qualifying sessions and warm up… it surly feels different all the time, but all and everyone is following routines. A routine that chases perfection. Now you’re standing on your starting grid again. Warm up sign comes up and the pace car leaves, and so your team members. You are on your own and all you think- all you feel is “…everything is perfect. I am ready!”.

The finish flag falls and you are relieved for a couple of hours before it all restarts… the strive for perfection- for that particular moment.

It’s almost like a solid OCD isn’t it? But do you see what I am pointing out here? It all channels to ‘a perfect moment’. Nothing is perfect forever ones you or someone else decides to have ‘reached perfection’. But that’s something most of you are chasing… to be perfect forever. Nothing is perfect forever. There is always something better you could do or have done. There is always the next bike you want to have- the ice cream you eat- the helmet you wear. I could go on forever one this because this one goes in all live directions.

Let me tell you something which philosophy I decided to follow. Perfection is an illusion! Don’t ever decide to have reached perfection- cuz’ where to go when you’re there? Unless you have the urge of a professional racer to chase and to channel positive energy up to THAT MOMENT, which allows you to snap into the competitor you HAVE TO BE… for you my friends, I hope you never reach perfection.

Because the moment you think you did- that moment is dangerous because you stop searching, you stop striving. Your journey is over. Just make sure you keep that strive in a healthy balance with ‘fun’, because too much of chasing and the feel to never be ‘like that guy’ (or whatever you categorize to be perfect) can lead you right into dark rooms. I’ve been there, which is why I know. A room enriched with frustration, confidence breaking energies and not knowing where the f’n door is out of the darkness.

So don’t chase perfection, cuz’ you never reach it anyway. It’s a dilemma. Instead- enjoy your imperfections. Learn to laugh about yourself, because perfection means pressure! :-)

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

10 replies
  1. Dean Losnkey
    Dean Losnkey says:

    Well said Coach! Perfection is like that devil on your shoulder pushing you to chase it cause he knows it is an illusion and unreachable, causing you to get frustrated and confused. Just look at pro racers when they get frustrated chasing that “perfect” setup that allows them to go FAST and WIN! Those that do go fast and win are searching more for a “balance” then “perfection” I feel so they can stay focused on the job at hand. This is especially important for street riders or even the track day junkies (btw, this also applies to the dirt bike/mx rider/racer). They’re never going to reach “perfection”, but if they, in their mind “do” find it, then all the fun & drive goes out the window and interest is lost. So, instead of searching for “perfection” how about searching for “improvement”? The best part about this is there is ALWAYS room for improvement…ALWAYS. If you don’t think so then maybe you need to take a good long look in the mirror to see if your head has gotten too big because of your ego? At least that’s my take on it. For me, I’ll choose “improvement” over “perfection” any day…

    • PageAdmin
      PageAdmin says:

      Indeed, we are all victims of the effect. Though it also is the trigger for development and motivation- as long it’s on a healthy balance. Thanks Dean

  2. Samir Hamdan
    Samir Hamdan says:

    Here here!! Well said coach, if that’s not gold then I don’t know what it… This is a life lesson more than a MC lesson. Never stop striving in all aspects of life, I love it. Thank you Sir

  3. Darrel Kelly
    Darrel Kelly says:

    Along the way to perfection, I have found my “1% Rule”. I am looking, every day, to find some small change that, in and of itself, won’t make me a winner but will make me a better rider. It is funny how 100 tiny changes can add up. I don’t race my 2020 Road Glide. But I am constantly looking for those 1% little things. My seat, after two or three hours, makes me feel like I’m being pushed forward – get a new one. The angle on my clutch lever is wrong – adjust it. My rear brake pedal is 3/4″ too high – fix it. Guess what? After a year of tiny changes, I can ride comfortably for as many hours as I want. Now I focus on the experience: the feeling of the wind, the smooth lines through the turns, the trail breaking that makes those twisty back roads so much easier (thanks Coach), and the constant rumble of the HD M8 motor beneath me.

    • PageAdmin
      PageAdmin says:

      You got it Darrel. That’s the mentality of an entire race team… any tiny bit makes the big puzzle. :)
      Thanks for your input son.


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