Thursday, October 8, 2020

Being Perfect

In Walking away from the idée fixe from Seth Godin's Blog by Seth Godin shares, 

 “It’s going to be exactly like THIS. It has to be, and I don’t want to hear otherwise.”

This had me wondering about when people began to think that something has to be perfect. Are we taught this by our parents? Our teachers? Who instills this perception into our mind?

Do we think that if it is not perfect, we are a failure? If it isn’t perfect, something can’t work. How do we determine that something needs to perfect or that near perfect is just as good?

There may be times where perfection is vital. If someone is building my house, I would hope that the measurements are perfect, so my house won’t fall in on top of me. If someone is operating on my body, I hope that the surgeon has perfected his skills. That would not be a time that I want the surgeon to believe that near perfect was okay.

I remember when my husband was writing a paper for class and he agonized over it. He would argue that it just wasn’t perfect yet. As the deadline approached, he became more stressed and it still wasn’t perfect. Eventually I was able to talk him into submitting it even though it was just near perfect to him. I’m not sure all the time in the world would have ever been enough time for it to ever be perfect.

I know that when I was learning to sew something my seams were not perfect. But I accepted it because I didn’t think that anyone was going to look that closely and I know that I was still learning.

Even now that I’ve been knitting for 12 years, I have made many things and I don’t believe any of them were perfect. I could have improved each item in some way or I might have made a mistake that I noticed after it was completed.

I want to instill in my students that they should strive for perfection but not beat themselves up if things aren’t perfect as they are learning. But that when a life depends on what they are doing, they need feel confident that they can be perfect.

In order to get to the point where they can achieve perfection, there can be many attempts (over days, months, or even years) where they will not be perfect. It is from these trials that the real learning takes place. It is from the errors that we correct which help lead to perfection.

The most important thing to being successful is to not give up. Perfection will never come to those who stop trying.

Photo by Jonathan Hoxmark on Unsplash 

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