Thursday, 20 March 2014

Perfection: Does it Exist?

I often find myself telling people (or myself...yes, I do have conversations with the mirror) that I'm a 'perfectionist', ie. I strive for perfection.

But what is perfection?

Recently, I've been reading bits and bobs here and there (namely Glamour Magazine and Richard Holden's 'How to be Happy’ which we'll discuss more another time!) and have come to a conclusion; Perfection doesn't exist.

There are two main forms of perfection which I believe we as humans look for: 'The Perfect Life' and 'The Perfect Self'. But of course, these ideas of perfectionism mean different things to different people.

Let's start with the idea of 'The Perfect Life'. To some, falling in love with a member of the opposite sex and starting a family may be deemed 'perfect', but to a homosexual, this is probably their worst nightmare!

Similarly, the idea of 'The Perfect Self' differs from person to person, as what is important to one person may not be worthless to another. For example, to one person, perfection is reached by being successful, whilst to another, perfection is achieved through reaching their (ie. society's) ideal body image (I am guilty of this one!).

But what are the boundaries of perfection? When do we reach 'optimum perfection'? Alan Sugar may be one of the most successful business men in the country, but does he see himself as perfect? Probably not. It's human nature to always aspire for more than we have. And as well as this, we all have our flaws. Similarly, Cara Delevingne may be one of the most beautiful and successful models out there right now, and many girls (including me) wouldn't mind looking like her, but I'm sure she doesn't wake up in the morning and think, "oooh, I'm so perfect". Well, let's hope not! After all, there's more to a person than pure aesthetics.

Money is often seen as the answer to achieving perfection. Many take the view that money can buy 'The Perfect Life' or 'The Perfect Self'. And if we assume that these two things equal happiness, then it is understandable why the phrase 'money can buy happiness' is so popular. For example, money can buy a beautiful abode, the latest designer clothes, the Ferrari you've always dreamed of, a holiday home, endless trips abroad...the list is innumerable. And for parents wanting to give their kids 'The Perfect Life' and upbringing, money may seem like the answer; it can buy private school admissions as well as all things aesthetic to seemingly enhance their life. However, these superficial purchases, in my opinion, only bring short-lived happiness/ 'perfection' as we adapt to our surroundings, see them as normal (no longer 'perfect'), and dream of more. Also, what happens when these children grow up to be spoilt, ungrateful brats? How can one's life be perfect when they're the furthest thing from perfect themselves? I'll let ya into a little secret... it can't!

On browsing the Daily Mail yesterday and learning of Neil Trotter, a (probably former) car mechanic and the latest £108 million Euromillions lottery winner, my first thought was "wow, what a lucky guy. He's sorted for life!" Obviously, I immediately linked his new found wealth to a simultaneous inheritance of 'The Perfect Life'. But I can almost guarantee that his life isn't perfect. Money can't buy perfection.

Perfection is not attainable. The mere idea of it is absurd...who can be described as perfect? In the words of Jessie J, ‘nobody’. Wise words Jessie. Boys, that includes Cheryl Cole, and girls, I hate to break it to ya, but Ryan Gosling isn’t perfect either! Nor is the Queen of England. Or Leonard DiCaprio (although his performance in 'The Wolf of Wall Street' was the closest thing to perfect I've seen this year). And although it pains me to admit it...Niall Horan is not the perfect man (that took a lot to admit).

If we are continuously striving for something that doesn't exist, then how are we ever going to be happy? 

Personally, I find myself constantly striving to be thinner, more toned, healthier. And of course this means that when I slip up (everyone has their bad days), then I class myself a 'failure'. I’m slowly but surely realising that I need to give myself a break. I think everyone in society today is guilty of being beating themselves up in their search for perfection. We are our own worst enemy. It is no bad thing to have goals and ambitions...but if it's one thing I urge, it's that we need to stop being so harsh on ourselves!

Every single person has their flaws and imperfections. It's how we choose to deal with them that makes us grow/ helps us to be a better person.  
So take my advice. Stop striving for perfection and live and enjoy each day as it comes.

Salvador Dali had some pretty good advice too - "Have no fear of perfection- you'll never reach it".

Strive for progress, not perfection. 
Aaaaand finally, when life gives you lemons, squeeze the **** outta them and make pints of lemonade!

This post got deeper than I first expected but I hope a few of you can relate!


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