Upon first glance the topic is easy.
- the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.
Some of you may feel that describes you to a tee but therein lies your first flaw. Failed reasoning. But we always seek the perfect wine, the perfect word, the perfect lifestyle. And even if we think we get there we are always looking for more. Did you ever wonder why?
For time eternal we search for things. Neuroscientist Jaak Panks argues that of seven core instincts in the human brain (anger, fear, panic-grief, maternal care, pleasure/lust, play, and seeking), seeking is the most important. It is how we grow and it is healthy to a point.
We all have frontiers to conquer whether is is a more fulfilling job, getting in shape, or just pursuing a topic we know nothing about. Over the years I have watched good friends who slip into the routine of the day and don’t want to be bothered. Don’t get involved. Relax TTG ! They might be right but that feels sort of like giving up which to me is the opposite of the pursuit of the unknown. Stop Ted, you are making me tired looking at you.
My old buddy Leonardo described it as curiositae.That beautiful genius looked at everything as something to be learned. He would look at fields and see how many different shades of green there were? How do fish swim and breathe? He would question people on the street. He kept dozens of notebooks on his observations and then read them through trying to connect the dots.
His greatest strength was not considering himself smart but inquisitive. There is so much to learn. He asked tough questions.As we become more academic we tend to be more rigid which is sad. We rely on consultants and so called experts when all that gray matter that we have upstairs is the same as DaVinci’s. As Mark Twain said,”We are all perfect, just at different things.”
I think there is a distinction between striving for knowledge and just wanting more. In today’s world we tend to emphasize things more than thoughts. There is never enough. We want bigger houses, faster cars and airplanes, and more lavish accoutrements. We don’t stop to think of what we have but are always looking down the road. It is almost impossible to live in the present. We don’t find time to enjoy the simplest of things. Does that great scotch taste any better in a fancy restaurant than your back porch? Good question for us all.
Part of this thinking lends itself to constant comparisons. Our world is full of it. Advertisements and media of all sorts blast us with visions of who we should be and what we should look like if we are successful. When we lived at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, people would build what I called two party houses. They were gigantic and off the charts with this and that but after two parties people would wonder what the owners were going do for an encore.
I know it sounds corny but do we never just sit down and thank whatever God we employ for all we have. Not just saying grace every now and then but really looking at our world and being grateful. I don’t. I get off on this tear or that until something hits me over the head. It is usually Kathy.
This all has a dark side as it relates to mental health. Some equate perfectionism with acceptance. If I am not that good then I am not lovable. If I fail then I am worthless. Sadly this affects young people the most. It is estimated that 50% of those teens who have taken their own lives did so because they were not able to measure up. They felt they had let down family and friends. They felt there was no hope for them.
How incredibly sad and what an indictment of our society. Pressure to get into the right school. Pressure to succeed in work and make not only a decent living but supersede all others in wealth and power. Pressure to be acceptable to our peers and conversant in the latest fads. Pressure to fit in every possible way. This is not a passing moment but being ingrained into our younger generations by a constant barrage on social media and an amped up culture. I don’t know how we stop it?
Perfect, TTG. You have now screwed up my day by your drivel. I apologize for that but I see too much of it. Here in Flalaland we have it good but it is not good enough for some. We went to the New York area and saw a frenetic pace twice to three times what is was just years ago. We can strive but we don’t have to be insatiable. We can dream but life is tough with all sorts of ruts in the road. When we create unreal expectations we are setting ourselves up for a hit.
The prefect answer is to be grateful for what we have. It sounds trite but if we just stopped the world and got off for a minute we would realize what a good thing we have. Thank all to you for reading and listening and of course thinking. It is as close to perfect as I am going to get…and that is just fine for me.
Ted The Great
The average American home has tripled in size in the last 50 years and continues to grow larger and larger. The average American woman owns 4X the amount of clothes as her grandmother, but continues to purchase. The average American home has 300,000 items inside it… and yet Amazon arrives on our doorstep several times each week. Go figure
Perfect games in baseball, bowling and sub par golf are very rare for the vast majority of earthlings. Ditto 1600 on SAT’s.
Both adaptive and maladaptive forms of perfectionism have been linked to depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, personality disorders and eating disorders.
Perfectionism and procrastination go hand in hand. You are so afraid of not being perfect you don’t do anything at all. Yikes
Good points Ted.
One of your best. Sad in a way. I used to call it “the more is not enough” generation. BTW—I am truly grateful for what I have. Hope you guys are too!!!