How Pursuing Perfection Is Detrimental To Your Happiness

Posted On Feb 04, 2019

God has created us to detect our originality not to pursue perfection. Still, society preys on us and tries to make us otherwise. The rise of artificial intelligence makes machines perfect. But even their perfection is flawed. Our job is not to emulate machines, but rather to accept being deficient, imperfect and flawed. Through this acceptance we grow less critical of ourselves. In consequence, we love ourselves. Such love spills over to other human beings and in turn makes us happy.

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Perfection looks like the ideal thing, still it fakes reality. The reality is that we are all imperfect. When you fake reality and look like you are perfect, guess what happens. Your relationship with others will deteriorate. There will be an implicit reminder to others that they can’t measure up to your fake standards of perfection. In your presence, others will feel inferior, insecure and restless. In your company, you are not a source of enjoyment. You have turned out to be a machine – perfect – and that’s the last thing humans like to relate to.

Embracing your imperfections will make it easy for you to relate to others. First being aware of your imperfections – each one at a time. Awareness is key here. Second, accept the concept that you are part of nature that is by itself unique, not perfect. Have you ever criticized a rainbow for not being perfectly colorful? You accept its uniqueness. Why shouldn’t you do this with yourself?! Stay away from criticizing yourself. Then take actionable steps, even baby ones to make daily, slow improvements that will build momentum and confidence. Such small actions will help you feel better and less anxious about yourself.

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Our guest today is an 8 year-old-kid when Home Alone  movie was produced in the year 1990. That kid, Macaulay Culkin, accepted the reality that his family has deserted him by going to vacation. Thinking perfectly, Macaulay would have lamented his luck and swears never to tolerate such a crime. Perfection also brings with it shame, fear and guilt. All of these negative associations might have led this home alone-kid to catastrophic consequences.

By accepting the problem he is in, he starts enjoying his life at home. When faced with two thieves who want to steal his home, another level of acceptance made the kid more creative. He didn’t deny the reality he is in, but rather made a resolution that “this is my home and I have to defend it.” Having God’s unique gift of creativity, the kid looks for finding ways to defend his home and take actionable steps, forgetting in the process to what extent his actions might be perfect.

Perfectionism is the enemy of happiness and fulfilment. To be happy is to forsake perfection and seek God’s unique gift of creativity that lies dormant inside each one of us. Realizing this gift is the reward of accepting your own shortcomings.

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About The Author

Tareq Alaghoury

Tareq Alaghoury has more than 25 years of experience in Marketing and Management. Tareq started out his marketing career in 1990 at Alkhaleejiah - a leading publishing Establishment in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Alkhaleejiah was the sole advertising representative of highly circulated and leading Newspapers and magazines in the Middle East such as Alsharq Al-Awsat Newspaper, Arab News and Sayidaty.