You see it all the time. Silly people search of “perfection”. They want a perfect wedding, or perfect hair. They try to keep a perfect house or land the perfect job. It’s even worse when they try to have perfect kids. As if that is even a possibility! I hate when adults put all their bullshit baggage onto their little people. Kids are the opposite of perfection which is why they are so much fun to hang out with! But I digress. If you are chasing “perfection” you might as well try your hand at unicorn hunting. You’ll yield the same results: frustration and zero unicorns. When I hear people claim, “I am a perfectionist”, I immediately roll my eyes and say, “Why!” What a total waste of time! They might as well be saying, “I am deeply insecure. I use perfection as a shield against trying new things and making mistakes. I end up just being really stressed out and kind of depressed. I might as well be chasing unicorns.”
Just keep this in mind the next time you are searching for the perfect body, or the prefect cheesecake – there is no such thing as perfect. That’s right, I said it. Perfection doesn’t exist. Much like those elusive unicorns, perfection is all in your head. And my head. And your mom’s head. And your neighbor’s head. And even the annoying dude with the beer belly, the guy who still talks about college and wears his college T-shirt even though college was over three decades ago… he has an idea of perfection too. And that’s the point. It’s different for everyone, and everyone is different.
- “Perfect is the enemy of good” –
I adore this Voltaire quote. It means that insisting on perfection will often leave you with no improvement at all. That’s right, zero unicorns. Why not strive to do well? That way you still feel successful and you are not spending hours agonizing over tiny details that no one else would even notice. I recently started painting, and I have to just do it for fun. Sure, I see tons of “mistakes” in my work, but I keep going. It’s not a “mistake”, it’s just different. I post all of my art work to Facebook not because I think I am the next Picasso, but because I am proud of my efforts both good and not so good.
- Bloopers! – I love a good blooper reel! I like seeing people who are supposed to be poised and together totally lose it. It makes me happy. Not in a Schadenfreude kind of way, but in a “I like to see people laughing and happy” kind of way. It’s fun to see news people and movie stars make mistakes, it makes them seem more human. If perfection was so awesome, we wouldn’t have bloopers. And I would take bloopers over so-called “perfection” any day.
- Corn Flakes, Slinky and Potato Chips – What do these things have in common? Their very existence in the world is the result of a mistake, or an accident. I for one would not want to live in a world that did not include potato chips. And it’s even better! The dude who accidentally invented potato chips in 1853 did so trying to get back at an annoying patron who kept sending back the fried potatoes he had ordered claiming they were “too soggy”.
- Differences – When there is a standard, or “perfection”, things that don’t fit get tossed aside. I think that sucks. I don’t have a perfect body, and I don’t know anyone who does. If you think of your body as more than a hanger for clothes, it gets easier. Your body has a heart in there that pumps blood all over and keeps you breathing. Are your insides “perfect”? I doubt it. If you drink, smoke, live in a city, wear heels, never exercise, or have ever eaten too much of anything – then you do not have a perfect body. Sorry to break it to you. For me, a perfect body is a healthy body – inside and out. Yes, that means watching what you eat and setting limits. That means exercising. That means knowing that a flat stomach isn’t going to last forever, so you’d better be happy on the inside. Personally, I like a curvy woman. I think super skinny ladies look hungry and sad. And funny. Bones sticking out is funny.
- Your “Way” isn’t the best way, or even the ONLY way – Ugh. I deal with this a lot in my line of work. Little kids and mothers. Two groups that like to have things their own way. And not just their own way, oh no! It’s just “The right way”. Drives me fucking nuts. If you are focusing so much time and energy into making sure that – not only is the task getting done, but it is getting done the way you would have done it... wow. Just… wow. How sad for you. Wouldn’t you rather be doing something fun instead of nagging? Wouldn’t you like your child (or in some special cases, your HUSBAND!) to be happy and figure out their own way of doing something? No one likes to be micro managed. Not kids. Not adults. So back off. If you think that your way of doing the dishes, or feeding your child lunch is so perfect, then do everyone a favor and just do it yourself, and then keep it to yourself. A perfect person doesn’t need to constantly talk about how perfect they are, now do they? All you are really doing is annoying the people around you, working yourself up over nothing, and finding zero unicorns.