Reading Kenton Wu’s post titled “Superpower Preferences and College Essays,” I was inspired by one topic he mentioned: the utter desire to reach perfection. In a Wheatley atmosphere, this goal is common. Everyone wants to be the best and everyone wants to impress. But what happens when this goal gets out of hand? Perfectionism is not bad unless it’s leading you to failure.
Perfectionists may have the highest standards, leading one to never be fully happy. This connects to Kenton adding if you keep deleting your writing because it’s not perfect, you get nowhere. This desire to be perfect blocks you from being productive and reaching your full potential. With mistakes come new ideas, and better writing.
I wanted to extend on Kenton’s message about reacting to negative moments in life. Kenton asked, “If there were no bad moments, how can we appreciate the good ones and grow from them?” The answer is you can’t. The bad moments allow you to see how special your best moments are. Sometimes accepting the phrase “everything happens for a reason” may be hard, especially when it feels like your life is falling apart. But it’s also important to consider what you’re stressing about. Years will go by and that bad moment will seem like nothing. When you’re about to stress about something, ask yourself this: Will I care in 5 years, in 10 years, in 50 years? It’s important to keep moving forward and learn from these bad moments and focus on the good ones. Keep your head up.
Kenton spoke about one situation where trying to be “perfect” can actually harm you: not being able to finish a college essay because you keep deleting everything. But what happens when this idea affects most of your life decisions? Fear of failure surrounds you and you avoid trying new things. Avoiding new opportunities can also mean avoiding potential accomplishments. So, essentially, your fear of failure makes you fail.
These examples may sound extreme, but realistically a lot of people live their lives this way. Perfection may always be on someone’s mind. Kenton’s example just got me thinking about how this goal can affect your whole life negatively. Trying your best should be your goal. It’s also important for you to be happy with your best and to accept any annoying slip-ups that may come. Society’s perfect doesn’t have to be your perfect. So next time your thinking of trying something new, go for it. Make a mistake or two once in a while and don’t dwell on it. Be happy and take a break from time to time.