Of course I should strive for perfection. Anything less is just…less. And, why would I settle for less? The idea was nonsensical to me.
According to a test I once took, one of the components of my personality was “uncompromising standards”. I was a little surprised. More surprising was that this quality was framed as a negative. How could this be a negative? I decided that the test was more for fun than based in science.
Perfection was the standard I had set for myself; not a standard but the standard.
At one job, my boss asked me to do a project “quick and dirty”. What? My face must have shown a blank because she explained, “Just bang it out. Don’t check your work.” The concept wasn’t computing with me. “It will be great,” she continued, “your work always is.” Sure, because I check my work. “I’ll be back in a couple of hours,” she smiled, unconcerned. I was mystified. But, the clock was ticking so I dug in.
Right on time, she was back. She started to gather up the papers and folders. “Wait!” I said, with a sense of urgency. “What?” She paused. “I’m not done,” I explained. She glanced through some items, “It looks like you’ve finished.” I hadn’t had time to check any, I mean any, of my work. She dismissed my concerns, “That’s okay, I’ll check and I know it will be fine.” I was not comfortable with this. Later that day she thanked me, “Great job!” I was pleased and relieved, but not convinced. I dodged a bullet; I got lucky.
Perfect is impossible.
Outside of mathematics, perfection is not possible. Okay, why is this a problem? Because it’s an absolute truth. Not a flexible truth, as in, “It’s impossible until it’s done,” but an absolute truth.
Therefore, if your goal is perfection, and perfection is impossible, then you can never achieve your goal. Let me repeat: You will never achieve your goal. If you are a perfectionist, the significance of this statement will take some time to sink in.
Quick and dirty.
How do you stop your pursuit of the impossible? This is a fundamental shift and won’t be easy, but it can be done. Try the quick and dirty technique. I know, the concept is mildly horrifying, but do it anyway. You can apply it to any area of your life. Your results will be fine. Really.
Dive into beauty.
When you let go of perfect you will create more room for beauty. Not to say that you didn’t have beauty and happiness before, but now you will have more. How? Stop striving for perfection; it’s wasted energy. Let go of the chains of the impossible. Free yourself. Dive in.
Dive into your beautiful life.