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Are You A Perfectionist?

Aug 17, 2007
I was a perfectionist! Now, I am no longer one. Do you know why?

I still remember an incident that had happened while I was still a teenager. We were supposed to do spring-cleaning for a student clubroom. One club member and myself were assigned to clean the window glass panels. He would cover half the portion while I covered the other half. He finished his portion rather fast and went off. I took quite sometime to finish my portion. Of course, I was curious how come he could finish so fast while I took so long.

When I had examined his works, I got angry about it. The window glass panels were reasonably cleaned but they were not spotless! According to my perfectionist standard, the glass panels must be completely spotless!

From this, I have learnt that I would always suffer from unnecessarily anger. This is because my perfectionist standards unlikely to be met.

Also, I have noted that I took considerably more time than a non-perfectionist. I would feel stress trying to be perfect if there is a time constraint on the task. If there were no time constraint, I would end up being less productive compared to a non-perfectionist.

Lastly, I have realized that there was a subject view of what is perfect. Most people do not even notice the difference between a perfect standard and a reasonably good standard. I would not be appreciated for the extra efforts because most people would not notice the difference. Most of the time, a reasonably good standard is practical enough to be accepted by most people.

Of course, I did not change overnight just because one incident. The turning point of my life is when I have started working. Due to the nature of the work, the assigned tasks always have very tight deadlines. As a result, I felt very stressful during that period because I tried to be a perfectionist. Also, I was angry because I felt that the time given to complete the assigned tasks were simply unfair! After suffering for a period of time, I have realized that it is not practical to stick to perfectionism!

Nowadays, when given any task, I would ask myself whether there is a practical need for the task to be perfect.

Certain tasks do need a perfect standard. For example, a heart transplants surgery will require a perfect standard to ensure a higher chance of survival for the patient.

Certain tasks do need not required perfect standard. For example, a house cleaning will require a reasonably good standard for hygienic purpose. A perfect standard does not help much because the floor always gets dirty. What is more practical to do is to clean the house more regularly.

The weekly idea that I will like to share with you is: Always strike a balance between perfection and practicality for any task

Disclaimer: The author, publisher and distributors particularly disclaim any liability, loss, or risk taken by individuals who directly or indirectly act on the information contained herein. All readers must accept full responsibility for their use of this material
About the Author
Max Ng shares about his struggle for success at http://www.yourgreatestgift.com. Currently, he is learning from successful people at http://www.secrets4me.com. He also loves to take good photos with a compact digital camera. His photography tips can be found at http://www.addictivephoto.com
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