Freeing yourself from the illusion of perfection— And being happier for it!

Chasing “perfectionism” can easily become a security blanket.
Some of the so-called “perfectionists” I met in my lifetime were plain lazy and incompetent.
Especially those who proclaim they don’t want to attempt certain tasks for fear of not getting it perfect.
Tinkerers in dimly-lit backrooms can fiddle with things for years under the pretense that they want to get it “perfect.”
Often they’re just too scared to finish something because then they might expose their product or idea to open scrutiny and realize it was far from perfect.

“Perfection” is merely a word.
It’s a word that society loves to fling about.
“Perfection is excellence.”
Nonsense!
No matter what the dictionary says, it’s rubbish.
Perfection is impossible.
Because “perfection” will always be subjective, no matter what!

You can test my theory and go bake a perfect cake!
Yes, according to all the parameters and instructions it might come out quite well!
It might even be labeled “excellent!”
But lo and behold, you will get those who wanted it sweeter, more textured, less decorated.
Now try and convince those dissidents that the cake was “perfect!”
Good luck with that quest!
Try convincing a hardcore rocker that you attended the “perfect” jazz concert.
At the first sound of “jazz”, you’ve already lost his interest.
Had he accompanied you it might’ve been the dullest two hours in his life!

We’ve all experienced what we labeled a “perfect moment.”
Not that it was perfect.
It merely felt like it.
There was that first kiss when time slowed down on a grassy meadow near a waterfall.
perhaps you only forgot about the pesky mosquitoes, the poison ivy you sat upon and the sunburn you got.
Not that the bad things mattered though, you got a sloppy kiss, you felt happy and over time your mind smoothed out the rough spots and left you with a perfect memory.

Excellence is sometimes merely “very good” or “very suitable” within a certain context for a specific group of people.
Still not convinced?
Ask a bunch of petrol heads what they consider to be the “perfect car!”
Then you stand back and watch the fight!

“Flawless diamond?”
Could that one make the cut in our quest for defining perfection?
I don’t think so, one man’s idea of a good cut is another person’s bland experiment.

“Flawless skin?”
It’s still a question of perception.

Adjectives such as “good”, “very good”, “excellent”, “nicely done” or “exemplary” are fine by me.
In my mind they represent superlatives connected to manageable goals and achievable tasks.
Even those who balk at calling something “perfect” might still be content with admitting it was “excellent!”

I copied this segment about the Japanese aesthetic of “wabi-sabi” from Wikipedia.
In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.
The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

Advertising media gets paid ostentatious amounts of money to force-feed us ideas such as “this season’s perfect look.”
I enjoy the rich reality of texture on life’s uneven surfaces.
I also choose to move forward within my acceptance of imperfection.
Some would call that “improvement.”
Building on something you’ve already achieved.
You acknowledge imperfection, but not completion!

Something interesting, diverse or intriguing would rather draw my attention than this season’s perfect look.
If everyone is adhering to seasonal perfection then where is the uniqueness and unconventional approach to life that often conjures up images of quirky but endearing imperfection?
The lure of creating perfection could very well result in the production of something sterile.

As a parting thought, and on a lighter note, when was the last time you experienced a “perfect storm?”
“Perfect?”
Without a doubt!
I’m sure it was loud, chaotic and messy as hell!