Perfection is death

“Perfect” a desirable state for an outcome, formed a goal for most of us to pursue. A perfect life, a perfect product, a perfect event. That made me wonder, why we are seeking perfection in the now? What was perfect in the 1960’s is not perfect anymore? Have we ever achieved perfection in our life? Do we even want to achieve it? Is perfection a way of living or a desired state for our goal? Is perfection, something agreed upon among everyone? Or is it different to different people? Why would perfection be different to different people?

Many of us have said the word perfect for something we have achieved or accomplished in a way or another in our life. Though, what usually happens after achieving perfection? We move on. Literally. Planning the perfect events mean you have reached a level where you have utilized all your resources efficiently to reach the most desirable goal. What happens next? You seek to plan another event putting in mind that the previous event was your best and it is not possible to exceed that (because there was no room for improvement since it was perfect). As I said, you utilized all your resources. If there was a room to improve, then it is not a perfect event (technically).

Nevertheless, a guest at your perfect event might say “I think X was missing at the event, you should’ve served finger foods rather than hot dishes” or whatever comment you might receive. Now, why do we receive such comments if the event is perfect? Why is perfection not unified? Why is it different to different people? How do we feel after receiving negative comments or constructive criticism about your perfect event? The mixed feelings you get range from anger to frustration going through a stage of “Why can’t they see the effort I have put here?” All those feelings will slowly send your soul to death, which will affect the way you treat others who intended to support it with their “constructive criticism”. However, now you are less tolerant to comments. You will start acting defensively towards every comment you receive that doesn’t appreciate your effort since people are not able to see your effort. Do you see what just happened? You labeled it “perfect”. You assumed everyone did. You are shocked that people saw different things. You did not understand how could they not see your effort. So, the frustration level increased and defensive mode is on.

That is why I consider perfection as death to the object and to the soul that produces it. As it implies that the project is completed and you have to move on. In a way, the cycle of life for that particular project is over. We have to find something else now. Perfection is death to the producer as well, because receiving negative comments, when you have invested all your resources, will lead you to frustration. A negative comment, when you have decided that the project has reached perfection, will affect your self-esteem directly. You will immediately be thinking and questioning your ability to deliver.

Group Perfection

There are two aspects here. First, how perfection is perceived to a group of people. Second, how we individually perceived it. From a group standpoint, it is impossible to reach a perfect state that everyone will agree on. It is impossible because each one of us has a different set of values, experience, personality, background, and interest. For example, if we planned an event that will be perfect to a school nerd, football player, and low income class citizen each one of them will have different standards. It might be the first event for the football player, so his standard is low. Yet, since he has been in the media, he won’t be impressed by the media coverage. On the other hand, the school nerd has been in many events and if the speaker is not very knowledgeable, he won’t be impressed. So to impress the school nerd, you have to have a topic in science, while that is the least thing a typical football player would seek. Now, let’s add to the formula the low income class citizen. He wants more publicity to cover the topics he is passionate about, which is contrary to what the football player desires too. Obviously, it is almost impossible to have a perfect event for these three individuals so imagine a bigger and larger audience. Therefore, perfection is not something you can generalize. It is very specific. To fix this, you have to find the most common factor among those three people. Let’s assume that all of them came from divorced parents, now it is much easier to make an event that will be perfect for all of them, IN ONE ASPECT. Conversely, if the football player attended 100 events on the same topic, his interest level becomes low now and his perfection standards arise. Delivering the perfect event now, is much more challenging. The point here is that since the universe is full of variables, a perfect event can not be attained by trying to correctly master all variables. We should only focus on certain aspects.

It is much attainable to aim for a more objective-centric event. Have a quantifiable, measurable outcome, to measure your work. We have to shift our focus from reaching a perfect event to reaching a successful event. Success needs metrics and measurement. Perfection is a feeling and a state of mind. So, it is much easier to deliver a successful event than a perfect event from a group standpoint. Because of any successful event, variables are clearly identified, but for a perfect event variables are countless and the only way to deliver a perfect event is by having a separate event for every guest (I am not sure about that too).

Individual Perfection

From an individual standpoint, a perfect event means I have done everything I knew and could do with what I had. You will be walking without any sort of protection from negative comments. If you were a magician, imagine hearing a “Booo” at that moment when you bend to salute the audience. It’s not something you even want to imagine. Any negative comment about the event will push you to become defensive and insecure. This is because they are asking you to do something beyond your means, not appreciating your efforts that you have already invested. A conversation with yourself might start with something like “This is what I can do! Why don’t they see how perfect it is? “

With that, they will not see how perfect it is. You know why? Because each one of us has a different set of value, experience, personality and background. You can’t force your standards to everyone else. So what should we do? How do we look at this event? Look at it as whether it is successful or not instead of looking at it is perfect or imperfect. Did the audience laugh at your show? Did you hear a “WOW” a couple of times? Did the trick work well? You should look at the event/project from a qualitative point of view rather than seeking for sentiments and general approval.

From an individual point of view, if I asked you what is a perfect life to you, you might say a life with an abundance of money, family, and health. Then, I follow with another question “What about fame? Do not you want to be famous?” A common answer could be “not really important”. Other people might have a perfect life without family or without friends. Did you notice what we have just done? We eliminated an important aspect of life to make it less complete and called it our “perfect life”. We defined the perfect life by what we are OK to live without. That is exactly how we should define perfection, which is by what is ok to forgo. My perfect life is focused on 1) success 2) health 3) peace of mind. As long as I have those 3 main areas secured, I am able to be a positive member in my family and I can be a great friend to my friends as well

There are two ways of thinking here and you should use both. A) Know exactly what to include in your perfect scenario B) know exactly what is OK not to have. Another example, Let’s define the perfect country. If a country has a perfect score in everything, why would its citizen need to work then? If they don’t work, how is that affecting their psychological state? Is being perfect going to move the country to imperfection? Mostly likely, Yes. Then, let’s really think a good example of a perfect country… It would be a country that knows what it lacks and knows what its main priorities for its citizens because perfection knows what you don’t have besides what you have. For example, in Dubai, you might call it a perfect country, don’t you? However, the thing that Dubai greatly did was identifying what they can really forgo, which is a successful country. Therefore, once they have secured everything else, all their initiatives are focused towards delivering projects that will make Dubai great. So by clearly identifying your OK to forgo points, you converted them from weakness to fuel that will drive you to your top 3 desires for a perfect life.

Perfect is accepting the missing part of a circle and call it a circle regardless.