Tuesday, July 23, 2013

2013 TKR: The trouble with being perfect.

The trouble with being perfect
Perfectionism distracts you from your goals
Self-help--Thinkerer
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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.

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Canter: Perfectionism is our job. We can’t stand for things not to be perfect.  That's how we know what you can't do.  If you can't do it perfectly, you can't do it.
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Nitpicker: Our scene, too. We find those little details that make the difference between adequate and perfect.
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Defender: When something is not perfect, it is vulnerable. Things can go wrong.  People can criticize you.
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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.
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Networker: There is no such thing as a pretty good alligator wrestler.
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Vulcan: At best you Canters are the diagnosticians. The cure lies in understanding the meaning of imperfection.
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Whys Guy: Why is imperfection bad?
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Networker: If it bothers you to be imperfect, find someone who is perfect and ask their advice.
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Canter: You can't find anybody who is perfect.  Nobody can be perfect.

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Vulcan: How do you know that?  How do you know what perfection means?
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Owl: Who?  Who is the authority on perfection.  Who sets the meaning of perfection?  And who can specify the perfect with perfection?
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Vulcan: Perfection is a value judgement.  It lies, not in reality, but in the head.
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Owl:  Who?  Who has the authority to judge perfection?
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Canter: Whoever claims that authority has the authority to judge perfection.  
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Vulcan: Only the perfect can judge perfection.  Only the perfect can give a perfectly accurate judgement.

Un:  But if nobody is perfect, then nobody can judge perfection.  Anybody can claim to judge perfection, but they cannot judge with perfections
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Goodenuff: People live with imperfections all the time. Our job is to help them match imperfections to goals.
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Hunter: Targets. That’s where we come in. Keep your eye on the target and don’t waste effort to make things better than they have to be to get to the target.
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Networker: Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good.
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Vulcan: Perfection is determined by what is needed to reach the goal. Perfection not relevant to the goal is irrelevant.

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Un: Perfection not relevant to the goal is imperfect.
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Hunter: No. It is worse than irrelevant.  It is worse than imperfect.  It is a diversion from the target.
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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.
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Un: Waiting for perfection. What do they do while waiting?
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Networker: Hoping and wishing are excuses for not doing.
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Silence.
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Hunter: If they don’t have a target, they can only wait. Without a goal, they’ll get no help from us.
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Canter: But if they have a goal, surely it should be reached with perfection.
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Shudoff: People should always strive for perfection. God won’t love them if they are not perfect.
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Un: If God had wanted people to be perfect, He would have created them perfect.
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Hunter: What is more perfect than reaching your target? And how valuable is perfection if you do not reach your target?

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Vulcan: Perfectionism is imperfect if it hinders the hunt.
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Networker: The worth of a thing done well is to have done it.
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Shudoff: What if your goal is to be perfect?
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Vulcan: If that’s your goal, how will you know when you reach it?
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Shudoff: You will feel satisfied when you are perfect.
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Hunter: We feel satisfied when we reach a target. For us, reaching a target is perfection.
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Shudoff: What do you do after you reach a goal?
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Hunter: Celebrate. Then look for more challenging targets.
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Shudoff: Then you are seeking perfection, aren’t you?
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Hunter: No. We are seeking to get better at the hunt. We celebrate when we get better. We don’t wait till we achieve an unreachable ideal.
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Idealist: We find nothing wrong with dreaming the impossible dream.
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Vulcan: Nor do we. But we distinguish between goals and dreams. People work for goals.
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Hunter: We don’t dream. But we don’t hunt impossible targets.
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Un: With impossible goals, it is a long wait between celebrations.  Do you want to get it perfect or do you want to get it done?
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Networker: There is no such thing as a pretty good alligator wrestler. On the other hand, there are lots of pretty good golfers.

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