Perfection and the End of Happiness

Spoken Word : Valerie Lopez

Doing something, anything, where you put yourself out there is a risk. Whether it’s a creative venture like art or writing, a relationship, or a sales call, there is always a chance for rejection. And no one likes rejection. Sometimes in order to avoid or prevent being rejected we strive to be perfect. 

Of course, doing our best is a good plan. Polishing ourselves and our work can actually be a sign of caring and self esteem. We might not always get it right but we do our best and learn from the result.

Sometimes the desire to avoid rejection can turn into full on fear. That fear can keep us from doing the things we want to do, need to do, and have to do to move forward in life. And sometimes, we cover up that fear of not being good enough with seeking perfection. 

An artist who works on a painting with fear of being criticized might never get it finished, much less show it to anyone. A writer who goes over every word, punctuation, and seeks to control the storyline to make it perfect might never finish the book, or work it so hard that it fails to entertain the reader. A person might be so intent on looking absolutely perfect that they miss the event by being late or hide behind the makeup and the hair to the point that they become a hollow shell with no one inside. 

Good enough is often better than perfect … Good enough gets it done. 


Good enough is often better than perfect. Good enough gets your work out the door and published while the perfect draft never leaves the desk and the re-writes. Good enough is taking action on inspiration and trusting the process. Good enough gets you in the game and off the sidelines. Good enough gets it done. 

Perfection on the other hand, can be trifling. Perfection can be suffocating. Perfection can keep us stuck. Perfection is often a happiness killer. 

Yes, there are masterpieces. These however, are often the result of moments of inspiration, or the result of sheer tenacity, or of years and countless hours of mastering an art or craft. 

The main thing is that space was left for perfection to happen. Perfection was not shoved onto a canvas or thrown onto a block of stone. Or pounded onto a piece of paper. Perfection, or the impression of perfection, was the result of allowing something to occur, flaws and all. Because in those flaws is where we find the true essence of perfection – uniqueness. The little tilt of the head, that random spot on the tail, that beautiful knot in the wood, that magical sentence in the third paragraph, those two things that you would have never thought of putting together that work so absolutely beautifully. Random and unintended perfection. 

No one does perfection like nature does and it does it almost effortlessly. It seems effortless because nature trusts in the process and trusts in the chaos. It experiments and creates deliberately from within the Fibonacci Spiral, the ultimate perfection of nature and life as we know it. And most interestingly of all, nature is open to change as it goes. It isn’t fixed on an outcome. It creates, it adjusts, it evolves, and continues to expand. And like nature, we too can learn to be bold, experiment, and have courage to grow with the flow. 

Copyright© Valerie L Lopez 2022  All Rights Reserved

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