The pursuit of perfection is a road on which we often find ourselves traveling. It is an unpaved road filed with pot-holes and ruts that often destroy our stride. The shoulders of this road are lined with the bones and rotting carcasses of well planned projects, solutions and dreams of others who have dared the journey.
Often the choice to engage in this travel is a compulsive one. We can’t help but to pack our bags and make the trip. We justify it by equating it to the delivery of a quality product or service. We use our past travels as validation of our worthiness and value. Our shared experience, as tortured pilgrims of perfection, reveals that each odyssey that bewitched us resulted in a stark reminder of the very weaknesses and fears that we were attempting to mollify. The voice of the critic that berated us for the lack of craftsmanship was our own. Although, at the end of the journey our own critical voice was joined by the gnashing of teeth of those who could not reap the fruit of your labor due to its lack of timely delivery.
There is another road in which to travel. It is the pursuit of embracing imperfection. The cost of traveling this route is your contribution to its eternal construction. Each segment is designed uniquely. At times it has the appearance of a patchwork quilt; while other times it is well organized and highly measured. In all cases, its construction has continually advanced and been utilized as each segment was delivered by its architect.
Those who choose to select this spindle of these crossroads crack open the shells of their fears to reveal the vapor that is within. They construct their houses upon these shells. Through their hunger for mastery they wring every drop of nectar from failure and discard its husks to the ditches of this road. Through their efforts the thoroughfare begins to develop a personality of its own, a beautifully human one, rich with the strengths and weaknesses of all of its contributors.
Like many of us, the pursuit of perfection has not served me well. In fact, I would say that it has been more damaging than it has been helpful. While the perfectionist in me occasionally makes its presence known, I consider myself a “recovering perfectionist“. It is evident to me that there is immense beauty found in imperfection. I choose to embrace it. It is grounding. It is constructive. It is honest.