Beware the perfectionist. Many of us strive to make the best of everything we do. Anything from baking a cake to attaining a degree will involve a desire to attain the best competence level.

Aiming for perfection sets unrealistic goals which become impossible to reach, and no satisfaction is attainable. However, if you seek excellence, failure is accepted and learned from. Unfortunately, the perfectionist rarely, if ever, attains their goals, and second-best becomes their perfection.

Anyone who sets a goal and is happy to attain 70% of the objective will have every reason to feel satisfied with their endeavour. However, one should still set the bar reasonably high. Muscles do not become strong without being slightly stressed. Attainment can also be considered as a muscle. It needs exercise to become strong: and it also needs freedom from stress to repair.

Therefore when formulating any plan: build in a rest period—a time when one sits back and reviews one’s attainments. If you are building a business, don’t think ‘I should have a few thousand in the bank by now. Or I should have more customers than this.’ Think about the assets you have accumulated and the faithful customers who keep the business afloat.

Suppose you are learning a new skill. Perhaps playing a musical instrument: don’t think ‘I cannot play a full tune’ reflect on the chords memorised and the faction now understand how to read the basics of music. You are on a learning curve, not a race to become Keith Richards or Julian Bream. In time your efforts will reward listeners. And at this market, you’ll realise no one ever can ever be a perfect musician.

Consider how, years ago, you worked so hard to make a ‘perfect family environment’. Today, you know this is not possible. Years of experience tells you every day is different; every plan turns out to be something else. Children become someone you never knew existed. Those who love you take the food, heating and laundry for granted. The perfection desired will never become manifest. Yet, when you sit back and think about these faults and failings, you love them more. Why would you want a computer boffin or a multi-millionaire child? There is nothing wrong with Lesley crying about her latest boyfriend and Jack hating his job: that’s what you’re here for to love their imperfections, fear, and uncertainties.

Who cares if the car is ten years old? Certainly not you. If you have a brain, you are making the best choice, and it starts, goes through the expensive yearly test. And it takes you on holiday once a year and days out to the seaside. Okay, hundreds of snobs look at it when you are driving into the city and think, ‘What a heap’ and you know, you know the truth, while your car may be a heap of rust: behind their flash Mercedes is a heap of debt. Strive for perfection or live without strive? What really makes sense?

eye of the storm image from outer space

Perfection? Look at this world. It is in a spin. No one really knows what the future will bring. Anyone seeking perfection has no standard to judge an achievement. Too many opinions, rights are wrongs, and wrongs are rights. There is no perfection: one person may be fit by low standards: and in a race, an athlete would make this daily jogger seem like a human snail. Perfection to you is none attainment to another. There is NO gauge to perfection: it does not exist.

Why concern yourself with anything other than freedom from any form of debt and making the best of what you have? Okay! The crisis has jailed you in your own home. Comfort food has gained a hold on the waist. Climbing these stairs is not an enjoyable task. There is a ton of uncertainty, and so many unknowns weigh heavily on your mind. Weight of body and weight of worry is holding you back. So the last thing you need is to set impossible goals. To do so, it will become certain you’ll experience feelings of failure or non-accomplishment.

Who needs perfection? Only 1% think they can attain the illusion. Leave them where they wish to be: feel sorry for their strife and toils: their lifelong quest to find the Holy Grail. See the truth of life: none of us is even at the starting block of the perfection race. We are part of the human race: living a life expiring at a frightening pace. There are perfections ruined by humans and we could focus our awareness on the perfection of nature: consider the implications of this idea with great care.

man and woman bathing on running water

Is Water Perfection?

Living in the past is living in the graveyard of history. Living in the future is a whimsical world. Living in the so-called now is impossible! My now: was an N and an O and a W a split second ago. Yesterday and today and tomorrow are the places where life can be lived well and happily. For the adventurous and successful: last week – this week and next will formulate a happy life. Was there a perfect moment in life? The day of birth perhaps: but the perfect birth can become a life of imperfections.

love people heart vintage

Try not to ‘Chase The Ace’ – Seek the Joker. We laugh at fools and clowns, so why not see the funny side of our failings? The horrendous mistakes and madness we have encouraged into the life history. Choosing happiness is a million times easier than: looking for and wallowing in unhappiness. Let people hold on to their poor opinion of your mistakes or failings. In fact, allow them to hang onto your imperfections and moral failings. It is only when someone knows the colour of hate can they talk about the disease. To call someone selfish only comes from the self-centred individual.

But to say: ‘Hey! He can be a bit mean: but do you know? We all can be at times’ is magical and is the comment of a real human: a human who knows ‘Perfection is an illusion of those who do not live’.

Ian Timothy

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