“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it” – Salvador Dali
I have never been much of a quotes person- but this one bugs me often- at least enough for me to write about it. Why? Because it bursts my bubble and I want to correct it- change it to “Have no fear of perfection, you may never reach it”– because a part of me believes in perfection and that it can be reached. That’s the part that always wants to improve things and keep things in order.
You look at the photo or painting and think that everything’s fine. Well, almost everything is. There’s just a slight bit that isn’t. It isn’t wrong per se, but it’s not how I think it should be. It’s been improved alright, but I think it can better. Heck, I’d be more comfortable if that slight bit is changed to what I think it should look like. It’d get me sleep at night or sail my ship or whatever. Because I think it can be better but it isn’t.
I am a thinker. I often over-think a lot of things and my friends can attest to this. I over-think because I want to make the best decisions and I loathe making mistakes. And I would know how the fear of failure has driven me to achieve what I thought I couldn’t. It’s a great fear to have, but not when it’s telling you ‘I told you so’- that you could fail. Oh, and that’s why spontaneity often throws me off balance a bit. It’s not easy working with a plan that I haven’t thought through, you know, pros, cons, etc.
Many times I want to be sure that there was no better decision other that the one I made. So I think a lot about the best case scenario and work towards it. Sometimes I don’t get there and I beat myself over it. Other times the results are way beyond my thinking and though it’s exciting, I wonder if there’s better than that best.
Maybe that’s why I avoid making promises or commitments or appointments unless I really have to, because I fear that something will happen and I will not follow through. Because I think of all the things I that can go wrong and the probability is just too high. The future is too uncertain. Not that I would fail to commit if it was in my power to do so, but there are just so many forces that we can’t control- but thank God I know that if it was meant to be, it will be, regardless. I often use hopefully -in a way to mean all factors held constant- and I think or I guess. I’ll often say what I think is right, very confidently, but if I’m not sure, I avoid the ‘never’s or the ’must’s because they imply strong belief, some sort of commitment.
I know I have to be contented with the fact that there are things I cannot change; that certain things can’t be how I think they should be. Maybe it’s difficult because perfection is almost always the goal- my goal. Sometimes I try to be sloppy. I let that sock lie on the floor for longer than it should, because if I pick it up, I’ll have to neaten all other things that are out of order. And it doesn’t matter if it’s 2 am- and it’s always odd hours- if the orderliness bug bites, it doesn’t leave till the place looks better.
You know how they say that your dreams aren’t big enough if they don’t scare you? But what if I dream of perfection? Does it make it ok for me to fear perfection if I will never reach it? Then what’s the point of working towards a goal you can never achieve? Is this the point where I reach for my ‘Everything is possible with God’ card?
Really, how does it feel if you’ve been working to attain perfection and someone tells you it doesn’t exist? You know they’re right; you’re not close enough to that goal, never have, and maybe you never will- but what do you do when a bubble is burst in your face? Do you work harder to prove them wrong so you feel better? But wouldn’t it pain more if you worked so hard at something and it never really bore fruit?
Yes, I know I over-think. And that’s part of the problem- that there’s always my way of doing/ seeing things, and I tend to feel that anything short of that is imperfect.
But like Ray Bradbury says, “Thinking is the enemy of creativity”. All those days I try to do certain things and then stop midway because I feel they won’t be good enough. Like drafts for Tafakari. And it makes me sad because I may never get inspired enough to write you a perfect post after such a long break. And if I ever do, I may not get to post it because I think it is imperfect. Oh well- like Ray says, sometimes we simply must do things- So here you go, Tafakari;
“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things” – Ray Bradbury
PS: I have really missed this place- always have- and God knows how much I’ve longed to post something here. Cheers!