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Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly

Posted Jan 08 2011 1:52pm

Thank you John Elder for this post. The wisdom in this short sentence is profound once we grasp it:

“Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly” – Pete Egoscue

Thanks for exploring it and sharing what Pete Egoscue said the true meaning of it is. Powerful stuff.

“Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly”

I read those words on Pete Egoscue’s Twitter feed the other day, rubbed my eyes, shook my head back and forth, and looked again.  Yep, I was reading it correctly. Wait…what?  ”Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly“?  I couldn’t believe it. More importantly, I didn’t get it.  How could Pete possibly suggest that we do something “poorly”, when for 40 years he has preached that the body is capable of anything. Shouldn’t we be striving for perfection?  After all, there are no design flaws in the body. It’s not a “poor” design.  Why should we settle for doing things poorly?  It just didn’t make sense.

I immediately called our San Diego headquarters to see if his Twitter account had been hacked.  My colleague who answered the phone gasped when I told her what the tweet said and she quickly put me on hold to check with Pete.  After a couple minutes she returned to the phone.  Nope, I was told.  Pete had posted that update himself, and as a result of calling, I had just assigned myself homework.

“Pete says to think about it and call him back.”


Now what?  I thought this was SO far away from Egoscue thinking that my first instinct was that his account had been hacked, and now he wants me to figure out his mindset?  Good luck, John.

Needless to say, I spent the last couple weeks thinking about what Pete said.  I came up with a couple thoughts that I was pretty sure weren’t correct (and I later confirmed that hunch), and then it hit me.  To borrow Nike’s line, I was pretty sure that Pete was saying, “Just do it”…so I called him.

Pete confirmed that in it’s simplest form, yes, that was what he was saying, but he expanded a bit:

“When clients think about things they once loved to do but can’t do now, they get very fearful.  Take climbing a tree, for example.  When they think back to their childhood, they remember no limitations and how they used to climb the tree.  How fun it was. What a great experience it was. They would swing from branch to branch and jump off a limb eight feet in the air.  No worries.  But because of that experience, they think that that’s the only way to climb.  But you and I know that it’s not.  The best thing to do is just climb it.  Who cares about how you climb it.  Just climb the thing!  You might not swing from branch to branch now, but that’s not the point.  The point is that you’re moving again, and it’s fun again.  Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.”

It makes perfect sense to me now.  I get it.  Don’t worry about what you once did, or how you once did it.  The important thing is that you simply do something.  Even if it’s done poorly.

What would you like to do again?  More importantly, why haven’t you done it?

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