Why perfection?

Many of us who have type A personalities will tell you that striving to be perfect in everything we do is exhausting. We see it in our personal lives, our work lives and even in our interactions within our social circles. When we fail to achieve perfection our immediate go to is a sense of failure because we have not achieved the level that we have desired. In reality, does anyone really care how perfect we are?

Part of the issue with perfection is there is no one definition. What may be perfect to one may be sub-par to another and vice versa. What that ultimately means is that we often put unneeded stress on ourselves trying to achieve what others may not perceive to be perfect in the first place. Why is it that we rely on the opinion of others to validate whether or not we have achieved our perfection goal, when our satisfaction with what we have accomplished is most often enough?

Unfortunately, many of us spend a good portion of our lives trying to please everyone else. We determine our value by the feedback from those we receive around us. If it isn’t good enough for them, then it can’t possibly be good enough for us. What we sometimes fail to realize is that the acknowledgement of perfection is often withheld by others simply because they haven’t realized their own perfection themselves.

I am currently reading a book called More Beautiful than Before by Steve Leder. In it he talks about a Canadian author Marshall McLuhan who often repeated the aphorism, “we don’t know who discovered the water, but it wasn’t the fish.” Leder goes on to explain what he meant, “we are so close to our own lives, so immersed in our own reality, that we actually have the least perspective on it.” Such is the case with perfection.

While striving for perfection may be hard, in actuality isn’t it rather simple? If we have given our all and done our best, haven’t we achieved perfection. My guess is that the flaws that we see are often rarely seen by most people. Why then punish ourselves for the flaws that don’t matter?

Mornings with Ron is available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple or Google Podcast or most podcast sites.

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