Is the ultimate goal to strive for perfection…or?

A common phrase that has come in and out of vogue in the past 6 years – mostly used in the world of startup and innovation in business is to “fail fast”. The intent here is to continue to innovate, and to realize what innovations can thrive and scale quickly…but to fail fast for those that are destined to demise. In the early days rehabilitation, even before my profession was known as physical therapy or physiotherapy, we held a very top-down model of motor control, with the brain controlling all and the therapist, especially in cases of neurologic impairment, challenged to control the brain. We guided movements carefully, prescribed peripheral inputs specifically, all in a matter to harness the body through our patient’s mind, through perfection. Yes, perfection, not innovation – not adaptability – never unweildy, and surely never intense. A lot has changed in rehabilitation. We must continue to push ourselves as much as we push our patients, to be willing to fail fast on our way toward finding the right pathway for this person, rather than prescribing an almighty approach for all. Perfection, were that to be the goal of any rehabilitation approach, would mean that if we arrived…just meant that we stopped trying, innovating, and paying attention. Perhaps this has been said by others, perhaps my thought is original….none of us will be perfect in anything, much less everything, that we do. All we can do is try to use the imperfections to our own benefit and perhaps most importantly to the benefit of those around us.