The Road to Misery
Almost invariably when teaching, and in particular teaching professional adults, the main point of stress can be summed up in a single word: perfection. Somewhere along the way I have, as have so many others, gotten the idea that the more we drive ourselves to perfection to more we bring ourselves closer to excellence. What I have learned, and what I keep trying to teach others as well as myself, is that nothing could be further from the truth.
What I try to do, when it comes up, is virtual surgery in the classroom. With a thin, highly accurate tweezer, I reach into the brains of whomever is my student and pluck out the word perfection. Unfortunately sometimes it has deep roots: surgery is just too dangerous. In that case all I can do is get them to acknowledge that it's there and repeat, as necessary:
The road to perfection is the road to misery. The road to excellence is the road to excellence.
And excellence, my friends, is a journey worth taking.