Dissatisfaction, always wanting the next thing up, is the human condition. So is a desire for perfection and an ego that, like glass, is apparently solid, totally transparent and shatters when hit hard enough. This much is self evident. You don’t need to look further than our consumerist culture and its quick spread to see these realities in action.
On the other hand, we are also wary of the extreme forms of either of these things. Excessive ego that is too solid troubles us, makes us question the egoist’s very humanity. A paper-thin ego makes us question their stability. Absolute perfectionism is seen as dangerous, the quest for the impossible. No drive to progress is understood to be a bane to society as much as to the individual.
And we often pair the extremes up a certain way. After all, the extreme egoist is often so proud, happy and comfortable that they stagnate. Their robust ego may be beneficial to them in terms of mental and emotional stability, but it creates the false impression that they have no work left to do. And the extreme perfectionist is often so focused, so obsessed, so needy that their ego wears thin. Their drive is beneficial in that they will often progress far beyond where anyone else could even imagine, but when they repeatedly fall short of their own standards their ego is wrecked.
However, I believe the best balance is actually not one of moderation, but a balance of the two more solid extremes. You need to be a perfectionist narcissist. This doesn’t really happen in nature. When your ego is that solid, you don’t want to carry on. When your standards are that high, your ego is hurt. But it can be encouraged and built through mindfulness.
You need to appreciate everything you do, admire everything you make, take pride in every achievement. You need to look at everything you are, physically, mentally, educationally, emotionally, and believe deep down that it is, brilliant, incredible, perfect.
But you also need to look at everything you make critically, analyze everything you do and move on from every milestone. You need to look at everything you could possibly become, physically, mentally, educationally, emotionally, and strive for it.
Push and pull. Push and pull. Until you’re sitting in the right place to carry on.
Depending on which way you already lean, you will need to work more on one than the other. Probably even depending on what you happen to be doing.
But whatever it is, when something is stressing you, getting you down, hurting you or annoying you, take action. Step back, analyze it, find what you need to fix, find what you can fix, find what you’re doing well and what you love. And then remind yourself…
“It’s perfect. But I have to keep going.”
TTFN and Happy Hunting.