A mark of maturity is the understanding and acceptance that we will not always be perfect. Therefore, we must realistically assess our abilities and performance, being grateful for the times we get things right and humbled by the things we miss. We then move forward by endeavoring to affirm ourselves in doing the things that work well while simultaneously aiming to improve where possible.
That is all true from a psychological perspective. However, we must simultaneously recognize those situations in which things truly have to be perfect. Here are just a few of them:
- The brain surgeon wielding the scalpel.
- The computer programmer writing crucial lines of code.
- The jet pilot adjusting cockpit controls during the landing approach.
- The Alaskan hunter pulling the trigger quickly and accurately at a charging grizzly bear.
- The job candidate typing her social security number into an online background check process.
- The court stenographer documenting what the witness states.
These are just a few of many different situations in which absolute perfection is required for a successful outcome. Our task as people is to recognize when we are in those situations that absolutely have to be perfect . . . and then getting it perfect. That takes time, focus, maturity, and commitment. If we miss, there will be consequences.
Perfection is certainly an interesting and challenging animal. I think that I will battle with it every day of my life. My guess is you will too. But then again, don’t you think that just adds to the challenge, fun, and excitement of life?