Written by Jenkin Au
Edited by Alan Ng
Photography by Kris Krug
I was eating a slice of pizza when I realized that I have a need to wipe my mouth and fingers clear of grease and crumbs after every bite. I am borderline OCD and it got me wondering about perfectionists.
I wondered for the longest time how a perfectionist lives his life. They nitpick at every little detail, striving to make it exactly to their liming. They meticulously spend each and every second; focused on creating the best product they can create, or do every task to their exact liking. By that definition, if perfectionists strive to make everything they do or make to be perfect, then wouldn’t their lives be defined by themselves to be perfect?
Obviously this isn’t the case yet perfectionists soldier on to make every aspect of their lives perfect. Their lives are endless pursuits to perfection, I suppose. However, perfection such an unimaginal and subjective Utopia. In fact, perfection today may not be perfection in the future. If you consider something perfect now, that’s only because your opinion hasn’t changed yet – you don’t know if your opinion can change or not. Even something as absolute as the laws of physics, which we have known to be absolute for centuries, are now being challenged in an earth-shattering way. Perfection, the absolute nirvana that one holds so dear and high on a pedestal, has been reduced and whittled over time to represent but a point in time. By this definition, certainty as an extension of perfection is questioned along side it. You can’t have perfection unless you are certain it is perfect. If such a notion is slowly going to fade, why even have a notion of perfection?
Perfection should be never be someone’s goal. The idea of perfection and the never ending and self-encroaching pursuit of it is tedious enough to drive a man to the brink and beyond insanity. It becomes a vicious cycle of unmet satisfaction, leading to frustration and resentment towards what you do.
Rather than perfection, perhaps it is slightly less than perfect that is what you should pursue. That fabled 10/10 exists because there will always be something or someone better, it just depends on when you will find it or them. Instead, shoot for the 9/10’s because we have all seen that certain person walk down the street.