Thought That Counts

because heavy is the head that wears the crown

If it's not good enough...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Aditya’s previous post was about perfection. I’m a perfectionist as well and people tell me the same. But my kind of perfection is a more personal, more self-serving kind. I consider something to be perfect if it satisfies me. Not if it satisfies the world, or is ‘better’ than the rest. My kind of perfection is utterly uncompetitive. You might think that this type of philosophy would result in my constant happiness with my own work and intolerance toward that of others…because what is stopping me from doing everything I do perfectly? The same things that stop others from doing everything ‘perfectly’.

By keeping that in mind, I am thankfully at peace with the world because my standards are not too high. I never did understand the world’s penchant for demands and high standards (I am not a non-capitalist; high standards are important). But really, we need to remind ourselves more often that the world survives because of variety and balance, which invariably means that while some will touch ‘perfection’, others will go in the opposite direction. What is the there to be upset about? That’s just the way things are and we should learn to not be bothered by it.

Just because I happen to be on this side of the hill, doesn’t give me the right to look down upon whatever’s on the other side. You might now think ‘well of course, the good will look down upon the bad’. And I am not one to say that certain things are not necessarily good while others are necessarily bad, because many things are. Yet, it doesn’t do us any good at all to lament the differences we should perhaps be grateful for. Do I sound selfish? I have never known what it’s like to be on the other side of the hill. The non-perfectionist, the unfortunate, the ‘not good enough’ side. But I refuse to look at the them in a negative (or dare I say, superior) way just because they are the way they are; and even if it is their fault, there’s no point in resenting it. So, this philosophy of mine stands at this: for myself, I can set standards as high as I like as long as they’re not too high for me and don’t result in my being disappointed in myself; with respect to others (i.e. the world at large), “if it’s not good enough, lower your standards!” What say?

ps: once again, this is not about businesses, systems, commercial consumers or leaders, but about ordinary people like us, and the ordinary people we mingle with.

Note: Credit for that quote and probably this post belongs to a poster I happened to read in my chemistry class today.


"if it’s not good enough, lower your standards!” What say?"

Un un!! Sounds like you're trying to justify not being able to do your work to your best, or someone elses. Some people would call that compromising (some very polite people), but we all know that compromising doesn't lead to anything, but temporary peace of mind.

If you compromise, you loosen your leash on something you need to hold right next to yourself. Skill, work, principles. Everything! That is the difference between perfection relative to others, and perfection in your head.

Does it remain perfection if someone does something better than you?

By Blogger Aditya, at 6:31 AM  

nice argument! taking the middle path maybe both non-compromising and self-satisfying :)

By Blogger Shikha Choudhury, at 7:05 AM  

I didn't expect you to agree with me :P

But I said "with respect to others..." hence overruling your argument of using it as an excuse for myself. This applies solely to other poeple because we don't have the right to set standards for them.

But you know what the problem is with strictly living by "skill, work, [and] principles"? It can be and is used to divide people. The world doesn't need any more dividing for any reason.

As for perfection, we all know how they say that 'there is no such thing as perfect'. The reason they say that is simply because it's a subjective issue. Which is why i said "my kind of perfection". I don't see any connection between perfection in my work and the standards of others as long as my work is not a commercial venture that needs to mold to others' standards in order for it to be successful.

So you see, there is no compromise anywhere in my own picture, only in the one I share with the rest of mankind.

By Blogger Ekta, at 12:48 PM  

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