The Problem With Perfection

Why is it that we think we have to be perfect? Is it our school system? Western mindset? Roll of media in our life? Facebook fronting? Why do we strive to be right and totally without error. Why has perfect become right and error become failure?

My working life has been all about failure. Everything I know is because I failed at it first. I studied botany but found myself in film in a very niche space where I was constantly the most experienced. I was a marketing executive even though the night before the interview I Googled what is marketing and now we are a creative agency even though I have never worked in one.

Therefore my higldy-piglidy working journey I think has given me a robust view on ‘perfect’ and from my experience it would seem that perfection is a mirage and all we can really expect of each other is dignity, love and honour in the process. And that makes total sense right? You don’t know what you don’t know and neither do I - all we can do is learn and respond to stimuli around us in a constant effort to improve. Look, I am not advocating irresponsibility, when we are wrong we wrong and need to clean up the mess. What I am saying if perfect is the goal we are all going to fail dismally but what would happen if we begun to celebrate the stuff ups as incredible opportunities to learn and grow? As an idealist/perfectionist who has failed a significant amount for my age I take solace in Roosevelt’s famed speech which summarises the sentiment of what I am saying above and my current view on life through this lense:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."