In a world that aspires and worships perfection, what about our defects?

Post di Massimo Sarti - 11/2020 · 15 minuti per leggerlo

Si pudiera vivir nuevamente mi vida, en la próxima trataría de cometer más errores. No intentaría ser tan perfecto, me relajaría más. Sería más tonto de lo que he sido, de hecho tomaría muy pocas cosas con seriedad.
[attributed to Jorge Borges]

Few days ago, my preferred thought-provoker 😉, Elisabetta, asked me the following question:

In a world that aspires and worships perfection, what about our defects?

So, well, what is perfection? And does perfection exist in nature?


I’d like to start this post from one of the most seen memes which comes from a 2011 movie (X Men: First Class). Erik repeatedly repeats to Mystique the request to see the real shape of her, a shapeshifting mutant and only when Mystique turns herself with her natural blue, Erik replies with a “Perfection” (this is the clip from the movie ). This is very good metaphor of what perfection is: perfection resides in the eyes, or in the mind, of those who see.

What’s with all this perfection? Do we really desire, notice, want, demand, expect and believe we require perfect? All the time? For everything? [Lynne Cazaly, ISH]

Where does this desire/demand for perfection come from?

  • from the social networks and all these bright influencers on Instagram/TikTok/…
  • from the web/magazines I read…
  • from the latest shiny Apple product presentation I watched…
  • from what our customers, well some of our customers, ask us…
  • from what our colleagues/managers, well some of them, require us…
  • from what we pretend from ourselves…
  • add your own peer-presssures…

Let’s take away from the table Instagram/magazines/ect: most of the perfect and beautiful images that we see on these channels are digitally retouched so instead of looking for an unattainable perfection in yourself maybe it is better that you spend your time learning how to master Lightroom/Photoshop/similar so that you could potentally have a second, additional income source.
Or you could become famous on the web as for example James Fridman, so good at using his mastery and irony to retouch the supposed imperfections of the photos of those who submit them but he is so good to your attention taking care to never perceive physical defects

James Fridman deserves our respect


you have perfection every single detail is perfect or apparently perfect that imperfection skillfully hidden the question is we see the result of a probably very long work of finishing adjustment adjustment we simply perceive the result final we are totally always totally Daddy I totally ignore the amount of work needed the failed attempts you say before you get to your cyclonic hoover the first Gironico show a thousand failed attempts perfection and continued to perfect it over the years so perfection is not a state that moves away as we do not go on ok in a while I put these also happens when we have a client a boss connects perfection what is perfection for him can describe it?

Only in this way it is perfect yes but as well as and above all your idea of perfection is equal to my idea of perfection living your perfection affection often leads to perfectionism and perfectionism that kills the perfectionist who kills unreachable perfection And so you can’t add because by definition it is his definition perfectionist perfectionist you don’t live anymore but you don’t let live anymore even those around you.

“THERE is little demand in the commercial world for excellence. There is a much, much bigger demand for mediocrity” [Paul Arden began his famous book “It’s not how good you are…” (which is, IMHO, nearly perfect) with this sentence]

Anyone of us who has had to deal with a colleague or with a cable for the left knows how working life can become manage it so you can say no thank you Here I’m stopping here I know It’s difficult to stop it’s difficult to stop we see from the table even

On the other side of the spectrum

those who don’t have any concept of perfection of internet quality is full of photos like I’ve done Aida job jobs done so badly that you wonder
In Reddit there is an active community (You had one job!) where you can find hundreds of example of poorly executed jobs, like this one: You had one job

In medio stat virtus

Or: virtue is found in the moderate position between – and probably above – the two extremes of any issue. So neither perfectionism nor “you had one job!”. But it’s possible that you don’t realize what you’ve done around you now yes they take us back towards the bass makes us understand that what we already perceive as well done for some is too well done the defect is not in us ability to understand what the other expects from us after all we say that and enemy of good when we say that the good is the enemy of good we hear musician playing a song in a perfect way we wake up 4 notes on the guitar we say to each other
But I will never get to that level surely not if you lower the level of expectations write better according to Malcom Gladwell (God, how much I’d like to write like him!) to reach a very high level you have to train for at least 10,000 hours because if you train 5 hours a day amount of training when you have trained so much there is another factor luck factor in the evening at that time you are trained 10,000 hours your situation will be perfect Outliers

when the clubs show these videos perfect things no what they don’t say all the cases of failure that led them to those cases of success then they don’t show up never as it comes out e.g. by accepting our imperfections by settling for a little less perfect tea certain enough without falling into the trap of the good the first by boris

adopting an incremental approach by accepting the feedback of the imperfection on the imperfection on the misunderstanding of our intentions as early as possible as possible by coming to a good understanding that the services we make the products we create should always be fit. for-purpose grandfather Peppe harden wrote this phrase is beautiful in one of his perfect put here the figure of Polase at the bottom what he claims is hidden again interactive asymptotically site to achieve the best for our

Paul Harden deserves our respect too

Perfection in the work: fit for purpose

How do you know whether a change is an improvement?

When is an improvement a step too far?

When might you be overserving your market?

How do you create the right metrics to catalyze improvements?

How can you use your frontline staff to sense your market needs?

How can you get beyond Net Promoter Score with Fitness Box Score?

Through many highly accessible business examples you’ll learn how to apply the pragmatic, actionable guidance of the Fit-for-Purpose Framework. You will be able to select market segments that align to your strategy, design products and services that align to customer expectations, and take actions to amplify successful markets and switch off unsuccessful ones. This book will help you find new customers in new market segments, better satisfy your existing customers, and keep them all coming back for more.

Unachievable quality

Toward ISH

One of the best book I read about this topic comes from Lynne Cazaly and it is named “ISH”. ISH
The starting point of the book is that it’s natural to want to do well - at work, in study, in life, to do our best. But what happens when striving for the best becomes something more … the pursuit of perfection?

Perfectionism is on the rise and it has dire consequences for how we think and feel about ourselves and others, how we think, live, and work. Perfectionism has been seen to cause over-thinking, over-working, burnout, sleeplessness, and mental health problems like depression and anxiety.

We can’t keep going like this!

But what’s the alternative if it’s not perfect?

Lynne Cazaly uncovers how to think, work and achieve in clever ways adapted from the productive and creative worlds of software development … and improvisation.

How do they get things done? How do they put their ideas out there? And what can we learn from them?

In ‘ish’, Lynne Cazaly explains:

  • The problem with pursuing perfection … and why we seek it
  • The mental loop that traps you into thinking perfection is the answer
  • The role of incremental work, imperfection and iteration in getting things done
  • The idea of ‘ish’ - which means somewhat, near enough - and how to apply it to your life
  • 9 ways to think and work on projects, tasks or activities that provide a healthy and productive alternative to perfectionism.

Excellence, quality and continuous improvement are important. But the pursuit of perfection … not so much.

Here’s a helpful alternative that guides you to making great progress and achieving what you want in life.

Thanks for your time and attention. Stay safe.

Pic in the header from the artist Ali Bati who drew the original image as part of an advertising campaign.

Suggested music for this post: Brian Eno & Harmonia: Almost


Alice Boyes: Don’t Let Perfection Be the Enemy of Productivity

Lynne Cazaly: ISH

David J. Anderson, Alexei Zheglov: Fit for Purpose