“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business.” Michael J Fox
Have you ever taken a moment to look around you and study people? Have you ever watched a series of people doing the same task or activity and noticed the differences in how they complete them? One may not be better or worse, just different. Another may be exceptional while yet another may be severely lacking in the performance. What separates the two? It’s been my experience that personal style and different levels of standard are most often to blame.
Some individuals have an attitude that reeks of doing the smallest amount humanly possible to just get the job done. Others have an overwhelming propensity to perpetuate perfection. Everything has to be “perfect”. Every task, every thought, every minute of every day is a constant battle to perfect their world. In between those two sets of standards… a vast spectrum of grey.
Perfection is defined by Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary as, “the quality or state of being perfect; free from fault or defect”. So, it would stand to reason that perfection could be achieved by the removal of anything wrong. Great! Now we know we can achieve perfection, right? Wrong! Perfection is merely in the eye of the beholder. What one believes is perfect another may determine to be seriously flawed. Trying to achieve perfection is like viewing a piece of art. To the artist it’s a blank canvas that was painted with many gentle strokes of emotion which captured an image only the artist could envision. Some may view the painting as incomprehensible while others glory in its beauty and embrace the artist’s portrayal of deep emotion.
Excellent, however, as defined by Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary is, “very good of its kind: eminently good.” Comparatively speaking, excellence can be achieved far more generously than perfection. Excellence doesn't demand freedom from all flaws. It is simply very good. Given that perfection can only be achieved by a perfect person, the goal of achieving perfection seems preposterous. However… reaching a goal of excellence is certainly attainable. Flaws and all, excellence can be achieved.
Now that we have determined the difference between excellence and perfection… we can go about our daily lives seeking to perform tasks to the best of our ability while trying to achieve personal excellence. We must accept that we have flaws. We must be content with excellence because excellence is the greatest we can achieve… in this life.
Belinda @ Kids Matter