Perfection. Many people strive for it, few accomplish it in their chosen profession and even then they’re often not happy with what they’ve accomplished. There is a term for someone constantly trying to be perfect: perfectionist. I include myself in this group on many occasions — do it right or don’t do it at all. It’s a silly attitude and one that often leads to frustration and even can prevent us from actually making progress. Part of the problem is our most common definition of perfection, that of freedom from fault or defect. It is an absolute term as in something has to be absolutely right, absolutely correct, geometrically straight and even. The problem is that this just isn’t natural. Take the human body for example, specifically the face. Take a photo of a face, any face, then cut one half out and mirror the remaining. It suddenly looks odd, weird, strange. It justs doesn’t look natural anymore. Each side of our face and even our whole body is slightly different from the other.
We struggleforperfection because we want to be without fault, without blame. Everything we do we want to be right and good and admirable. At its core this struggle is positive and enables us to get better at the things we enjoy doing. But we don’t need to be perfect. To the contrary. If indeed anything we’d put our mind to would be perfect in the end where would be the desire to try to hone our skills, to become better at something, to branch out or try something new for the enjoyment of learning it? This is in line with another definition of perfection — the act or process of perfecting. This indicates a constant activity, a continued effort, the ability to master something (achieve a level of excellence) but still be able to go beyond or continue in another direction. I personally prefer this definition — a desire for perfection without setting unrealistic goals and expectations that could choke our creativity and ambition.