Is Being a Perfectionist Perfect?

Some people really are perfectionists. It is not necessarily an easy life. For one thing it can be very stressful, both in the amount of work involved and in the reaction to not achieving perfection. They can feel overwhelmed.

Should I ever have brain surgery, I am rather keen on a surgeon who is a perfectionist. The result is of the greatest importance. Perfection though is not always necessary, nor even desirable.

Take the chef who insists on the finest and most exotic ingredients for every dish, and for each dish to be unique. That may take the food outside the price range of the restaurant, and the time involved in preparation may limit the number of customers served. More importantly, it may not be what customers want. Steak and chips can be a valid preference, and quality then consists of delivering that well.

If you are a perfectionist, it is worth working out when “good enough” is good enough, particularly in relation to what your audience requires. Finding out what your boss and/or your clients require is a good start. Tailor your actions accordingly. None of this of course justifies sloppiness, but instead a commitment to delivering the quality that is appropriate.




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