I had an interesting conversation today about progress versus perfection. This is a concept that gets discussed often in my office and I would like to expound on it; also I found the following, awesome, quote by Voltaire:
When we think of progress, what comes to mind? I think of steady advancement toward a goal. Whether that goal is a mental health accomplishment, a wood working project, a vehicle restoration, a scrap book, or recovery, progress is an incremental move toward a goal.
Perfection is what? I think it is an ideal, it is something that we hold in our mind as a pure representation of what we would like to happen or be. I think it is a fantasy. It is something that juveniles pine for as they glory over star athletes and think about how life will be in the future. Perfection is something that I have come to realize is far removed from my abilities, and the abilities of clients for that matter.
I get to talk to people all the time who are struggling to navigate the waters of life. They experience setbacks and failures daily. It is a fact of life. Not only are setbacks going to be a feature of almost any endeavor, I believe that we can achieve progress in the face of failures. It is through setback, failure, and struggle that we learn the most. Perseverance and endurance are essential skills for life, and they are not acquired languidly dreaming about the perfect execution of task. They are acquired in the struggle. They are acquired in recognition that we have the ability to overcome. Yet, we do not overcome when there is nothing to overcome from.
My encouragement is to look for the places in life that you can recognize your progress rather than berate yourself for lack of perfection. If there is something in life that you would like help in overcoming, please reach out to us.