The Seeds of Perfectionism

I had a conversation with my mother today about my dad. He was upset and she couldn’t figure out why. At once she thought that maybe it was her fault that she was rushing him. But that wasn’t the problem until finally he blurted it out.

He is 70 years old and still works part time at the airport. He was upset because he missed 2 questions on a certification test. Now, he has worked at the same function for upwards of 35 years and has always been a person that works hard and takes his work very seriously – almost to the point of perfection. I’m pretty sure he could do this job without any problem whatsoever. He was very disappointed about this, until my mom said, “Well you didn’t study the book.”

It was just a reminder about how much we can take for granted but also about how a system meant to weed out certain people can actually hinder the “unintended” It also reminds me that in life – not everything is certain and sometimes we need a wake up call to how we perform even our mundane day to day tasks.

He has until Monday to retake the test, but he really beat himself up about failing the test.

I have often wondered how I have developed such traits of perfectionism. Myself and my sisters are perfectionists. We plan to the Nth degree much to the chagrin of our loved ones around us. So now my dad is studying to ensure that he passes on Monday.

I have since forwarded an article to some folks about what kind of perfectionist they are. Adaptive or maladaptive. Do you complete tasks with the objective in mind or do you complete tasks out of fear? This can be adapted to your personal relationships and not just in the workplace. Do you try to look like you have a perfect life? If so, do you ever actually enjoy life? What does your truth look like?

From my Native American Astrologist Dr. Standley, she states, “If you are wondering what your Truth is then look around. As I always say, “When it’s the Truth, it shows up everywhere!”

I have had the privilege to be in a position to assist others. No matter how small the contribution I have beamed with such wonderful energy that I have no choice but to move forward with it all.

I received an amazing article from one of my Linked In Friends called, Ten Tips and Twenty Questions for Unleashing Innovation by Matthew May.

In this article, May discusses perfection. He states that one of the three rules is perfection. Imperfection is what drives innovation, because nothing’s perfect. Perfection is a pursuit, a journey, not a destination. The destination is a placed called “Better.” Just as in my blog yesterday, being an adaptive perfectionist is about the pursuit to the goal and not a place of fear. I especially loved this one principle out of the 10:

Keep it Lean. Complexity kills value—scale it back, make it simple, and let it flow. Take a page from Henry David Thoreau’s urge to “Simplify, simplify, simplify!” Combine it with the Michelangelo strategy: “I saw David through the stone, and I simply chipped away everything that was not David.” Target overload, inconsistency, and waste. Think: Google interface. In ’N Out Burger. Twitter.

Who said complexity was perfection? That’s why our lives are much easier to handle the more simpler and balanced we can get it to be. I’m blessed and thankful for the small lessons that my parents and family give me on a daily basis. This is just one of them, the pursuit of imperfection.

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