Monday, July 7, 2008

Almost Is the Most All of All

Earlier this evening I voiced an opinion that perfectionists are just the manic side of slackers ... or something like that. That is, for perfectionists and slackers alike the choice is always between 100% and zero--if you can't be perfect, why bother at all?

Perfectionists drive themselves (and others) nuts, basically painting themselves into corners by cutting off all options that promise only a measure of success. Slackers see nothing worthy of an effort because the only reward to effort they can imagine as worthwhile is absolute perfection.

Realists will take a measure of success over nothing any day of the week ... and don't beat themselves for falling short of the highest conceivable attainment, often by recognizing that such an attainment is (almost by definition) a fiction.

Wisdom is realism plus the determination to improve. Life is a pilgrimage where the first step does not have to bring us all the way to our destination. Better is better than nothing, and better is best when there's no such thing as best.

Or something like that.

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