Perfection is defined as the best a thing can possibly be. As a goal, perfection is practically unattainable, because once a project is complete or a piece is finished, we can almost always see ways in which it could be improved. We look back and come up with ways we could have planned better, chosen a better colour or used a different glaze.
Self described ‘perfectionists’ appear to believe perfection can, and should, be achieved with every project … sometimes, at each and every stage in the process. This can be a challenge for others on their team, often resulting in tension, conflict and deterioration of a good team dynamic. It’s never fun working with that nitpicky client or that hard-to-deal-with designer. That kind of ‘perfectionist’ is probably hiding behind their ‘perfectionism’ out of fear or some perceived inadequacy.
Real perfection, however, is about the process. It’s about a commitment to do your very best work every time. Now, your best work on a team straddled with a nearly impossible timeline will be different from your best work given a year to research and develop a book draft. But if you’re committed to doing your best, it means giving it everything you’ve got within the parameters of that project. And if you’re doing it right, it’s energizing and generous and contagious. If you’re doing it right, it feels a lot like fun.
Real perfectionists almost never call themselves perfectionists. Other people do that. They’re just busy making beautiful things.
Peace and love.