Perfection is both a pinnacle and a plague. We strive for it. Some masters say that we already reside in it.
What is perfection?
Perhaps it’s the definition that has become warped over time. Maybe perfection once included that which was messy and incomplete. Maybe what we face today is less about perfection and more about our sense of inadequacy: more about our fears.
Who decides what is perfect?
The bar becomes so high that we would never release our creative work into the world should we strive for what we consider perfect. Perfection is a sliding scale that moves according to how much weight we place on the reception of our efforts, work, creativity or appearance. Our expectations and sense of inadequacy tip the scale.
As many of us are, I’m a writer. When I write children’s books, I play. I let little things slide. I create a joyful story and I let it be enough. I release it to the world and delight in reading it with children.
Seven to nine year-olds are not critical. They enjoy a good story, then they move on to recess or art or lunch. I put little weight on that scale of perfection.
Then comes the memoir, ten years in the writing. Every decision leading up to publication adds another ounce on the scale of perfection. Why? Because adults are critical. Inadequacy rears its head and pushes the bar higher. I push the publication date; maybe it’s not ready; I can make it better; perhaps the timing is not right.
A friend invites me to his professional speakers group. I watch in awe. The presentations are inspiring and informative but it’s the audience that I regard. The laughter, encouragement, support, and enthusiasm are heart-warming. I find myself surrounded by those who dare to try, more than try, those who do. I’m in the presence of those who leap without fear of failure, or maybe despite it.
And then the words are declared on the stage, “Done is better than perfect.”
I am renewed in this revelation.