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The problem with pursuing perfection

Go to the hole-in-the-wall bbq joint or get some street tacos from that food truck you follow on Instagram, you’re likely to get an experience that is far from perfect. They’ll splatter sauce all over the place. Grease will begin puddling at the bottom of your cardboard bowl. And it’s so loud and crowded on that street corner that you can’t even hear yourself think. 

But that’s what they’re going for. It’s part of the experience. And nobody cares if it’s far from perfect because they aren’t claiming to be. They’re promising something else. Something memorable. Something interesting. 

Contrast that with eating at a fancy restaurant. A place where they claim perfection. If even one thing is off (a smudge on your glass, the waiter not filling up your water as soon as you finish it, the meat being slightly undercooked) you’re sure to notice. You paid enough to eat there. It had better be perfect, right? 

Does that make the whole experience any less incredible if you are only noticing what wasn’t perfect?

Two thoughts: 1) Accentuate the positive. There are noteworthy things all around you, regardless of the performance or the experience. It will make you feel more grateful and you will be a more delightful person to be around. 2) Instead of aiming for perfect, try making it significant, remarkable, fascinating, thought-provoking, intriguing. It can still be a fine (expensive) experience but steer clear of calling it perfect.