Perfection Is The Lowest Standard We Can Set For Ourselves

- POSTED ON: Mar 30, 2013


 Perfection Is The Lowest Standard We Can Set For Ourselves

Perfection doesn't exist.  When we expect it, we immediately set ourselves up for failure because the unattainable standard we've set in our minds can never be reached. Therefore, we've unknowingly set the lowest expectation for ourselves by mistakenly setting the highest.

It’s rather arrogant to set an impossible standard for ourselves and not for others. But we tend to be kind, supportive and understanding of our friends, seeing them through their tough times and setbacks, while beating ourselves up relentlessly for any misstep of our own.

It’s unreasonable to expect perfection and success from ourselves while holding others to a separate standard.

Lets not place expectations on anyone, not ourselves, our friends, our opponents, our family or even strangers. The truth is that no one can predict or rehearse life. Life has a beautiful unpredictability to it.

Some of the contents of the above post originated from an article by Danielle Robinson, March 29, 2013 - mindbodygreen.com,


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Existing Comments:

On Mar 30, 2013 wrote:
We all steer our own ship and are only responsible to ourselves. I do get upset with myself when I go off course. I think I'm just going to relax now as I'm almost where I wish to be.


On Mar 30, 2013 Dr. Collins wrote:
             John, You've done a wonderful job getting close to goal. I hope you will be able to relax and stay near there, that is something I've never been able to personally achieve.


On Mar 30, 2013 jethro wrote:
Coach Lombardi said: "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."


On Mar 30, 2013 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Jethro, nothing against Lombardi, but my post above disagrees with that philosophy.


On Mar 30, 2013 jethro wrote:
Au contraire Dr. Collins. Coach Lombardi statement reinforces your post. He is saying in a nutshell that although we cannot reach the stars ("Itís unreasonable to expect perfection and success from ourselves while holding others to a separate standard"), if we shoot for them we can achieve the best we can. In other words reaching perfection is not an issue because he knows we cannot reach it. But aiming for it will give our best results. We'll do better aiming for perfection and reaching excellence than aiming for mediocrity and achieving mediocrity...or less. He did not place expectations of excellence. He just meant that to do your best, you try for it. On the other hand, if someone just "goes thru the motions," the results will be (fill the blank).


On Mar 31, 2013 Dr. Collins wrote:
             There are many different ways to look at the same concept. Lombardi says "Aim for Perfection" and this will help one achieve. This article opposes that viewpoint, and in fact is AGAINST Aiming for Perfection, and indicates that doing so is self-defeating behavior. Re-read the Header Quote and the first paragraph.


On Mar 31, 2013 jethro wrote:
I'm sorry, but it seems you still misunderstand coach Lombardi's concept. Your Header Quote: "Perfection Is The Lowest Standard We Can Set For Ourselves" Lombardi is not claiming that we have to reach a standard of perfection. He states that if we try for it we'll achieve excellence. But nowhere in his writings does he state that we can be perfect. According to him only God is perfect and we are not Gods. You first paragraph: "Perfection doesn't exist. When we expect it, we immediately set ourselves up for failure because the unattainable standard we've set in our minds can never be reached. Therefore, we've unknowingly set the lowest expectation for ourselves by mistakenly setting the highest." Lombardi never claimed mere mortals could achieve perfection and his quote clearly states that it cannot be achieved. He disagrees with your concept that we'll set lower expectations for ourselves if we aim for perfection. On the contrary, we'll achieve excellence. And frankly, his record speaks for itself when he turned the Packers from the worst team in the league to best in the history of the NFL. His teams never "self defeated" and his concepts have been applied successfully by many others. You can disagree - based on your own beliefs - with coach Lombardi's ideas. But neither you nor anybody can deny his success. BTW, aiming for perfection to achieve excellence is not an easy task, but it works.


On Mar 31, 2013 Dr. Collins wrote:
             This particular Article looks at having the Goal of Perfection DIFFERENTLY than Lombardi does. Note the Heading Quote: "The Greater the EMPHASIS on Perfection, the Further it Recedes". Using Perfection as a Goal is an EMPHASIS on Perfection. This is NOT an issue of RIGHT or WRONG. There are many ways to look at Every Concept, including Perfection. We are not all the same. What fails to work for some, still works for others.

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