“Have no fear of perfection—you’ll never reach it.”
According to Wikipedia, perfection is broadly a state of completeness and flawlessness. It is an ideal that we all strive to achieve. But is it imperative to be perfect in all that we do? The below people are undoubtedly the epitome of perfection, and they illustrate its follies.
1. Steve Jobs
Steve Job’s perfectionism was legendary. However, did you know that his obsessiveness with perfection caused him to be unable to purchase a couch for 10 years? In the book Steve Jobs, his wife Lauren Powell is quoted as saying,
“We spoke about furniture in theory for eight years. We spent a lot of time asking ourselves, ‘What is the purpose of a sofa?'”
Be on guard, and do not hide your indecision behind the mask of perfectionism. Instead of basing your decisions on subjective ideals of perfection, it is good to be objective when making decisions.
2. Lance Armstrong
Now disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted to doping as a means to live up to the perfect story—a hero who overcame a deadly diagnosis of testicular cancer, and went on to repeatedly win the Tour de France, while having a happy marriage and family. Perfectionism became his worst enemy.Advertising
Perfectionists have an intrinsic fear of failure. They wish to be a success at everything they do. Sometimes, to achieve that success, they pay a very steep price. Lance paid with his integrity to maintain his ideal of the perfect story. However, wouldn’t the world still consider him an ultra-human champion if he simply competed after his cancer recovery?
Something that a perfectionist would perceive as failure would be a moment of triumph for others. In general, one should be more accepting of their failures and think of them as a necessary part of the process. It is fine to make mistakes. In time, they become the stepping stones to success.
At 73, Michelangelo was working intensely on the sculpture, Florentine Pieta—the sculpture that many historians regard as his most mature and provocative work. He put in an enormous amount of personal effort and energy to make it the perfect sculpture, until one day, he took a sledge hammer, and chopped off the sculpture’s arms and legs. Why would he break apart one of his greatest works that was born after a decade of brutal labor and emotional pain ? Well, Michelangelo, a perfectionist, was angered by the flaws in the marble.
Perfectionists, tend to have excessively high performance standards of doing things. They invest all their energy to ensure that all the i’s are dotted and all the t’s crossed. However, many times this obsessive attention to detail, that manifests from the now or never attitude, takes up our valuable reserves of time and energy. This can lead them to abandon projects mid-way, and thus lose sight of the goals that matter the most.
4. Emma Watson
Did you know that Emma Watson cited perfectionism as the reason for taking a break from school?
In today’s world, it is difficult to narrow down our focus on the one most important thing. At work, it is expected of you to have competencies in multiple areas. At home, there are a lot of things that are fighting for our attention. Being a perfectionist does not allow multi-tasking. Instead it narrows down our choices and forces us to focus on one thing at a time, which, unlike Emma Watson, might not be a luxury everyone can enjoy.
5. Sheldon Cooper
The Ingenious Jim Parsons, portraying the character in Big Bang Theory is a classic example of a perfectionist personality that is not just obsessive and dogmatic, but also rigid and inflexible. He always wants to be in control of things, to the point of choosing and reserving his favorite seat in the apartment.
“In the winter that seat is close enough to the radiator to remain warm, and yet not so close as to cause perspiration. In the summer, it’s directly in the path of a cross-breeze created by opening windows there and there. It faces the television at an angle that is neither direct, thus discouraging conversation, nor so far wide as to create a parallax distortion. I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.”
Perfectionists wish to have the perfect order in the universe, and to maintain the order, they become rigid and inflexible. Some go to the extent of controlling others, or if that does not work, they isolate themselves from society.
6. James Cameron
On re-releasing Titanic in 3D, James Cameroon, fixed the star constellation in the final scene of Titanic. In an interview he explains,
“Oh, there is one shot that I fixed. It’s because Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is one of the U.S.’ leading astronomers, sent me quite a snarky email saying that, at that time of year, in that position in the Atlantic in 1912, when Rose is lying on the piece of driftwood and staring up at the stars, that is not the star field she would have seen, and with my reputation as a perfectionist, I should have known that and I should have put the right star field in. So I said, ‘All right, you son of a bitch, send me the right stars for the exact time, 4:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, and I’ll put it in the movie.’ So that’s the one shot that has been changed.”
Perfectionists often have trouble with focusing on priorities. They put in time and energy into things that are irrelevant, or of secondary importance. This in turn forces the projects to go in delays or excessive expenditure, where none might be required.Advertising
7. Bob Sullivan
When Bob, an investigative journalist, more than a decade ago was teaching at the University of Missouri Journalism School, asked his students, “What was the most important task of a newspaper editor?” His students shouted many answers such as “To break new stories,” “To be Fair,” etc. However, Bob said that none of that is true. What really matters for the Newspaper editor is the promise that the paper will be there every morning at 6 a.m when people wake up. He theorized:
“The most insidious of all human imperfections often lies hidden in the weeds most of our lives. But it rears its ugly head and screeches for our attention in an environment of intense deadlines. It kills all learning, and dooms us to a life of plateaus: the desire to be perfect”
Being a perfectionist forces us to conform with societal norms and expectations. A perfectionist ensures that there are no surprises—good or bad. The basic ingredients that make life interesting are weeded out leaving the perfectionist in a dull and boring world where each day is the same as the next one.
8. Russel Crowe
Russel’s perfectionist attitude has provided us with some thought provoking performances. However, perfectionism becomes a hurdle for him when dealing with criticism. When Adam Lambert criticized the director of Les Miserables for not finding better singers for the production, Russel Crowe, one of the leading actors in the movie, took the criticism personally. He recorded a studio version of his showpiece song in Les Miserables and posted it online, showcasing his singing talents. He blamed the poor vocals in the movie on the director, who insisted on shooting raw and real vocals, than the pre-recorded studio versions.
Perfectionist often view criticism as a personal attack and in turn become defensive when receiving feedback for their work. They are unable to take negative feedback in the right perspective. As a result, they bubble-wrap their weakness, instead of taking positive actions to deal with it in a healthy manner.
9. Sherlock Holmes
The famous detective’s perfectionist aspect is that he must have the most intriguingly complex case, to challenge his incredibly genius mind. However, when there is nothing to challenge him, he gets depressed and indulges in substance abuse.Advertising
“My mind rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession, or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world.”
Perfectionism can make one depressed, frustrated and angry, especially if it does not see to bear the desired results. Most of the times being a perfectionist involves being anxious, and fearful of the imperfect world, which in turn leads to panic and anger that steadily turns into depression. It is a vicious circle that is not easy to get out of.
10. David Foster Wallace
David Foster Wallace, an award-winning American novelist, short story writer, essayist and professor, struggled with perfectionism.
“Perfectionism is very dangerous. Because of course if your fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything. Because doing anything results in…it’s actually kind of tragic because you sacrifice how gorgeous and perfect it is in your head for what it really is”
Perfectionists do tend to demonstrate the five dark Personality traits: Argumentative, Impersonal, Narcissistic, Insensitive and a Fear of Failure. Beware of these traits. In the end, the big question is would you embrace these traits as an acceptable cost of being successful? I sure would love to hear from you about that in the comments below.
Last Updated on October 18, 2018
50+ Best Motivational Quotes To Prepare You For Any Challenges In Life
Life is filled with highs and lows —happiness and struggles that will test your resilience and integrity, push you to overcome challenges and leave you with lessons that will make you even stronger on your way up.
It’s the way you feel and think about yourself, including your expectations and beliefs about what is possible to you, greatly determines everything that happens to you.
It all starts with your thoughts. When you change your thoughts, you transform the quality of your life. (Right, Nancy’s story is a typical example!)
Below is a list of the best motivational quotes to inspire you to start your day with a blast:
Table of Contents
Quotes for self-assurance
1. Don’t downgrade your dream just to fit your reality, upgrade your conviction to match your destiny.
2. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.
3. You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.
4. The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others
5. You attract what you are, not what you want. If you want great, then be great.
6. It’s not who you are that holds you behind, it’s who you think your are not.
Quotes about positivity
7. Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and think of what could go right.
8. You should never regret anything in life. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it is experience.
9. Falling down is an accident, staying down is a choice.
10. If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.
11. Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.
12. Don’t be afraid to give up the good and go for great.
13. Remember that life’s greatest lessons are usually learned from worst times and from the worst mistakes.
Quotes for work and success
14. Don’t talk, just act. Don’t say, just show. Don’t promise, just prove.
15. Never stop doing great just because someone doesn’t give you credit.
16. Discipline is doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t want to.
17. Work while they sleep. Learn while they party. Save while they spend. Live like they dream.
18. The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire, not things we fear.
19. Never apologize for having high standards, people who really want to be in your life will rise to meet them.
20. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.
21. Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it, time will pass anyway.
22. Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.
23. A hill is just another opportunity to leave your competition behind.
24. Don’t quit. You’re already in pain. You’re already hurt. Get a reward from it.
25. Hustle until you no longer need to introduce yourself.
26. You didn’t come this far only to come this far.
27. Be selective in your battles for sometimes peace is better than being right.
28 If we keep doing what we are doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.
29. You will never know your limits until you push yourself to them.
30. Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.
31. The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.
32. If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.
33. If you can’t handle stress, you won’t manage success.
34. Don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams.
35. Don’t mistake silence for weakness. Smart people don’t plan big moves out loud.
36. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
37. Obsessed is the word the lazy use to describe dedicated.
38. You become who you spend your time with.
39. Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.
40. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
41. If you don’t build your dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs.
42. Between stimulus and response is our greatest power –the freedom to choose.
43. What comes easy won’t last, what lasts won’t come easy.
44. Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits.
45. Work until your idols become your rivals.
Quotes about money
46. Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.
47. I create new enemies every day, it’s called business.
48. When you have a Million Dollar vision, don’t surround yourself with 1 cent minds.
49. You can’t get rich thinking poor.
50. Doing what is comfortable is rarely profitable.
51. If you can count your money, work harder.
If you find yourself feeling lost and frustrated, it’s never too late to change things up. Check out this guide: