Perfectionism is Not All That Good
The Head Room. A round conference table. Staff seated neatly around it. The Canter is in the center, flanked by the Nitpicker, the Defender and the Shudoff.
Canter: Perfectionism is our scene. We canít stand for things not to be perfect.
Nitpicker: Our scene, too. We find those little details that make the difference between adequate and perfect.
Defender: When something is not perfect, it is vulnerable. Things can go wrong.
Canter: We keep reminding people of their imperfections. We keep warning people about what can happen when imperfections are tolerated. Imperfections are a disease. We are the cure.
Networker: There is no such thing as a pretty good alligator wrestler.
Vulcan: Wrong. At best you Canters are the diagnosticians. The cure lies in understanding imperfection.
Whys Guy: Why is imperfection bad? Do people die of imperfections?
Networker: If it bothers you to be imperfect, find someone who is perfect and ask their advice.
Goodenuff: No. They usually live with imperfections. Our job is to help them match their imperfections to their goals.
Hunter: Targets. Thatís where we come in. Keep your eye on the target and donít waste effort to make things better than they have to be to get there.
Networker: Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good.
Vulcan: Perfection is fixed by what is needed to reach the goal. Perfection not relevant to the goal is irrelevant.
Hunter: No. It is worse than irrelevant. It is a diversion from the target.
Putitov: Actually a lack of perfection is a fine reason for putting things off. The trouble is that people who wait for perfection will have a long wait.
Un: Waiting for perfection. What do they do while waiting?
Networker: Hoping and wishing are excuses for not doing.
Hunter: If they donít have a target, they can only wait. Without a goal, theyíll get no help from us.
Canter: But if they do have a goal, surely it should be reached with perfection.
Shudoff: People should always strive for perfection. God wonít love them if they are not perfect.
Un: If God had wanted people to be perfect, He would have created them perfect.
Hunter: What is more perfect than reaching your target? And how valuable is perfection if you do not reach your target?
Networker: The worth of a thing done well is to have done it.
Shudoff: What if your goal is to be perfect?
Vulcan: If thatís your goal, how will you know when you reach it?
Shudoff: You will feel satisfied with what you have done.
Hunter: We feel satisfied when we reach a target. For us, reaching a target is perfection.
Shudoff: What do you do after you reach a goal?
Hunter: Celebrate. Then look for more challenging targets.
Shudoff: Then you are seeking perfection, arenít you?
Hunter: No. We are seeking to get better at the hunt. We celebrate when we get better. We donít wait till we achieve an ideal.
Idealist: We find nothing wrong with dreaming the impossible dream.
Vulcan: Nor do we. But we distinguish between goals and dreams.
Hunter: We donít dream. But we donít hunt impossible targets.
Un: With impossible goals, it is a long wait between celebrations.
Networker: There is no such thing as a pretty good alligator wrestler. On the other hand, there are lots of pretty good golfers.
Don't sacrifice. Satisfice.
Copyright (c) D. F. Dansereau & S. H. Evans