The Pursuit of Perfection

Here’s a positive message on which to end a bad year*. Stop striving for perfection!

There are virtually no possible situations in life where perfection is mandatory, and in most of those cases large machines have been built to assure that you can achieve it. As for the others, every other situation only requests “Good Enough”. This may sound flippant, but even heart surgery only truly demands “Good Enough” because every human body is different, meaning that you cannot standardise, you cannot predict every eventuality, you can only hope to be good enough to ensure that the person under the knife makes it through.

It’s that time of year at which I always despair, a lot of empty promises are made with very little conviction, a lot of hollow plans are made without taking into account the idea that other stuff happens to foil your every good intention. Ultimately the notion of a new years resolution I see as a very negative thing, you’re setting yourself up like a skittle for the bowling ball of reality. A good skittle will last for decades, a good skittle may need a new coat of paint every now and again, but a good skittle will still get knocked down and be put back to rights again, you are never going to stay standing.

Which sounds like I’m encouraging that you give up, sincerely I am not. What I am encouraging is that you endure, and improve. Take a moment to look back on the things that you have done this year and ask yourself how much of it you would have been able to do the year before, or before that. Think about yourself ten years ago and ask yourself what you did this year that that person would have wanted to do. If you can’t find enough answers to these suggestions, well there is all you need to strive for this year.

What you want right now may not be what you need tomorrow. But what we can all strive for is to look back and say “That me could never have done what this one managed” even if all that means is getting through a hard year in one piece.

I sat deliberating what to write for today knowing full well as soon as I went to bed an idea would come to mind, and it did. More than four and a half years of writing with GeekOut and being granted practically free reign over the subjects I cover, how I run my events, and being granted incredible lee-way over when and how I deliver material, this is the kind of gig that a lot of professional writers would die for (except, y’know, they get paid). It can be tough to come up with ideas, it can be hard to keep up a certain standard of work. But I look back over old articles from time to time and I realise that I am better than I was, I constantly improve, and maybe sometimes that means being less reliant on people to give me ideas, fewer missed deadlines, or just a better overall quality of writing style.

But I still make some pretty glaring mistakes, typos, bad grammar, the occasional late article that’s pretty much just a rambling version of a disjointed thought from 2:30 in the morning…

Where was I?

Accept that you will keep making mistakes, you will keep getting knocked down, you will keep being set up to fall again. But you can choose to make that a positive thing… not easily, I’ll grant you, but it’s possible.

Happy new year from GeekOut South-West.

*A bad year politically, economically, environmentally, that stuff has all been terrifying, I’ve had a great year personally.