Perfectionism is something that eats at many of us. Perfection means very different things to us at different times and stages in our lives. But, we all work as if it were one thing. One thing, one person, one event, one feeling that we need to get to. Or, perhaps a feeling or sensation we believe we have had in the past that we spend the rest of our days trying to duplicate.
This second, and this is my personal opinion, is what I think happens to many true rockstars. The moment they are most loved, most celebrated, and at the peak of their talent must indeed feel glorious. But, we have watch many, like Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and many more who finish their careers as some kind of caricature of themselves.
Sadly, this burning flame doesn’t exist in rockstars only, but in many people who never really grow up and become adults, but remain the “golden child” or “prodigy” they were once considered to be. This can degenerate into fear, jealousy, paranoia and constant self focus. No, most of us are not sociopaths, and can choose to step off this merry-go-round. But, we work side-by-side with a few who seemingly cannot.
These are the people in our lives that find unique ways to put us and others down so that the spotlight always shines on them. They work to shift blame and credit so that the success of any project apparently could not have occurred without them. Any good springing from another source, another person, must be quickly overshadowed and stamped down. They are the center of their world.
Perfection, and the drive to always be in it, can drive us to the other extremes of madness as well. This mind trap tells us continually that what we do is never good enough (LINK Gilding the Lily), and that, in fact, we ourselves are not good enough. And possibly can never be. We set an impossible standard, that we keep straining to reach, but it is always mysteriously just beyond our reach. Read: Gilding the Lily. When “Good Enough” is “Fine”
We keep trying to be better, to do better, to think and respond better. But, it is the proverbial fool’s errand. Perfection is something we may say we seek, but, I believe that it is excellence that is our true goal. This we can do. We can do and be excellent a lot of the time.
The Middle Ground
Life, real life is light and dark. Ups and downs. Triumphs and disasters.
Somewhere between our striving for and seeking absolute perfection and feeling continually defeated and beaten up/down by life and its circumstances, lies our sanity and hope. Alongside these, is our ability to enjoy life again. Many things will works out well for us. In fact, most things will. Be grateful.
A few things will not go as we hope. We will not get to the outcomes we dreamed of, prayed for, or hoped for. These are opportunities to learn from life and its obstacles. We can bang our heads against the same wall in the same ways over and over, or we can choose to do something different. We can trip and fall in the same hole over and over, or we can rise from the muck, and learn from the fall.
Question: What thing to you keep doing, or what thing keeps “happening” to you that is keeping you from going forward?