Monday, March 04, 2013

Toward Perfection

Admit it.  We're two-faced about perfectionism.  We say it's bad for us.  We say it's stressful.  We say, "Well, nobody can be perfect."  And yet, if we're not compelling ourselves to be perfect, we've got those teachers and bosses pushing us toward being perfect, always setting the goals higher and higher.  Once we reach the first goal, then a new goal is set.  There's no contentment, no resting, in a job well done.  Or in significant improvement.

Why is it, the closer we get to perfection, the more we're aware of our imperfection?  A kid who scores C's and B's on his tests won't flip out when he sees "C-" on his test.  But the kid who earns A's will freak over a B.  And the kid who scores 99% will be upset over a "lousy" grade like 96%.  Same thing at work.  The goal for the team is to eliminate backlogged work.  But no matter how much they improve over the year, no matter how many cases they resolve, it's never enough -- it's never perfect.  But the drive for it to be perfect is more compelling when the goal isn't as far out of reach. 

The closer we get to perfection, the more we yearn to have it.

With regard to civic righteousness, striving for perfection can drive a person bonkers and hike his blood pressure.  But with regard to religion, it can become damning if we determine that more effort on our part can get us to where we measure up.

1 comment:

  1. ..and just how does one deal with this dichotomy?
    In 63 yrs, I have not yet found a balance. Although, I do sometimes, briefly, flirt with the idea that I have actually accomplished it!