Sunday, October 17, 2010

Perfectionism


 All week I have been meaning to write. I have been meaning to put together a cover letter for an internship. I want this cover letter to be professional but also relatively entertaining to read. This cover letter will posses a perfect combo of personality and enthusiasm that will shine through my writing. I mean seriously, the perfection and absolute beauty of my cover letter will just leave the reader in a total daze, the type of daze only an orgasmic experience can leave you in. It will be perfectly short, and to the point, but it will totally brain fuck you. Once my cover letter has been read, there's no turning back. It will only intrigue the reader to personally hand deliver my resume to the president of the company. From then on the possibilities are endless. I will probably be recommended as editor to some prestigious publication. Who could blame them? My cover letter would be totally perfect.

 The problem here is I wrote absolutely no such thing. In fact I am paralyzed. I cant write anything because there is a pretty hefty chance it wont resemble that damn orgasmic cover letter of my dreams. Oh, the cruelty of reality! This brings me to think of perfectionism as the voice of the oppressor. I once read of a study concerning what I believe perfectionism produces in our personalities. The professor had two groups of students in a pottery class. One group was told their work would be judged on quantity of work produced not quality. The other group was given the task of creating just a couple pieces of art, with the goal of quality in mind, perfection. For one month the quantity group and the quality group worked. At the end of the study the group with the best quality of work turned out to actually be the quantity group. The group that focused on perfection pretty much drove themselves bonkers about making it so perfect, ironically, they didn't achieve their goal at all. The quantity group, because of so much practice and so many tries with no perfection in mind, became impressively talented. 




I hear people say quality is better than quantity, when work is concerned. But there is a flawless honesty  in trying. Mental algorithms of perfection can never surpass the reality of excellence practice can give you. If anything perfectionism is a mental disease of sorts, keeping us judgmental and routine. I know some will say ,"But isn't perfectionism the goal of attaining excellence?". No, trying is the goal of attaining excellence. Anything else is our minds neurosis, a delusion of what "perfection"is, and perfection is nothing but an opinion. It holds no truth on its own besides what we believe perfection to be.


My opinion on perfection is different than yours, and that's fine. You might think a perfect cover letter should definitely not be orgasmic. I believe you are insane and should get some help. Ideally perfection should not limit us, it should not put us down. It should not be a mental obsession because then you truly aren't living. Focus on quantity, try, then maybe the results will surpass even your own opinion of perfection and will become something even greater. 

So I guess now its time to go write this cover letter. ..

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