Perfection Liberation

Day 262 Week 38 Q3 Wednesday, September 20, 2023

It’s time to face it: you are never going to be perfect. Nothing you ever do is ever going to be perfect. Because if you are creative, intelligent, seeking, and curious, you’re going to find a better way to do anything you’ve ever done. Things might be perfect for some time, perhaps a little time, perhaps no time at all, and perhaps in a while, but at some point, you will determine possible ways to improve everything you have touched.

This is the nature of the game of creativity. Of course, there will be plateaus, and hopefully often. And just how often and just how much you appreciate them is an internal job.  You can choose how happy you will feel about what you create. You can become liberated from being a perfectionist. And then, finally, you can feel joy. Sometimes, you have to put away what you have created for a while to truly appreciate how wonderful it is.  You can also return to things later and appreciate how terrible they are.

What if you regard the earlier efforts as on the way to getting better? They do not have to look so bad. And then you can appreciate the fact that you have created anything at all. And that, no, it is not perfect, and that’s not so bad because you have something to look forward to, to improve, indefinitely.

Of course, you can always embrace the alternative and beat yourself up interminably. But I am not sure who that helps. It certainly does not help you or those around you. And you will be depriving yourself of ever experiencing joy.  What a waste.

Does this mean you have to accept every filtering effort that you have made as wonderful? Of course not. Bad results or bad efforts, and if they are not on the way to something better than what you were left with, is simply a bad effort. But try to take into account where you are in your process. Was it the first time? Or the fourth? Or the hundredth? It is just a number. You can accept what you have done at any point in your process. Unless, of course, you don’t think you have a process and that you expect the full emergence of perfection every time you try something, in which case, your life will be pretty miserable.

Of course, it is possible that you have really peaked and will not get any better, ever. And that you have to accept that what you have done is not as good as what you imagined. It is rare that someone does better than they have imagined they could do. But you can increase the frequency of that feeling by appreciating what you have done and what you are doing right now. Is this rationalization? Or is it just being realistic and accepting your life the way it is?  Beating yourself up is a pointless exercise; just don’t do it.