Why do we want our doctors to be perfectionists but not us?
We have high standards when our health is on the line.
Maybe that’s why almost every patient that is about to have a procedure says the same thing – “my doctor is the best”. We never say, “my doctor is not a perfectionist, she just does her best”.
When we spend money on dining, we want the chef to get everything right not half-baked.
If we demand perfection, why doesn’t it work out for us when we try to deliver it?
My father was a perfectionist and I have some of those qualities, too. They can drive you mad getting OCD over having everything just so.
I really don’t want to change even though I admit it makes me miserable at times. Okay, a lot of the time.
But I am coming to discover a way of reconciling perfection with a good job.
I think about sports.
No team sends their players in to do their worst. Okay, maybe the Phillies and 76ers. But usually, you take to the field, court or ice aiming to be perfect. Get a hit, score a three-pointer, get a goal. We want to be our best.
Think of it this way, we play the game seeking perfection but – and this is very important – we judge it by how hard we tried. That way, our obsession with perfection is not a disease but an admirable trait.
Salvador Dali had it right when he said, “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it”.
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