Our Obsession with Perfection

Beauty and perfection cannot go together. Think about the things or people you love the most. Do you love the fact that they are perfect in every sense or do you cherish the little (imperfect) things that only they have and no one else? You know the answer, don’t you?


However, in the modern times, we have become too obsessed about the idea of perfection. There is a joke you hear very often these days – if you are looking to find an answer, don’t ask the question, instead post a wrong answer on Facebook. That’s right! Someone will correct you. But why do they do that? Why do we do that? Perhaps we have evolved to see the glass half empty and we are constantly trying to fill it, when in fact there is no need…

The technology (particularly social media) might have empowered us, but at the same time, it has done enough work to inflate our egos. It is a remarkable thing that people have found their voice and are now able to express their opinions on social media, but most of their opinion is nothing but a harsh way of correcting others. Another problem with this virtual world is that people only share their perfect self with others, not the imperfect part. Have you seen anyone sharing the worst picture of their photo album? I would not do that. But if I am not sharing my imperfect side with others, how are others supposed to love me? They won’t.

Then comes the vulnerability. On one hand, we might be sharing our perfect life with our friends and acquaintances, but on the other, we remain the sole witness of the miserable (not so perfect) part of our lives. The same is true with our lives outside social media. In this atmosphere of superficial friendships and shallow relationships, we cannot resist the temptation of compliments and praises no matter where they come from. We desperately look for people to accept just the way we are, but do we accept them in the same way? Perhaps not… because, on most occasions, we are too busy imagining about their perfect versions.

But what exactly is perfection?

For some of us, it is based on our own perception, which leads to endless conflicts. For others, there is mostly a standardised version of perfection. For example, if you ask someone – how to speak perfectly – they will tell you the standard methods such as adjusting your pitch, taking pauses at suitable moments, pronouncing certain words in certain manners – but we have so many examples where people defied all these methods and yet became beautiful speakers. This is true for almost every field. Innovation comes from creativity, which in turn comes from imperfection.

Those who understand beauty, would agree that it leads to happiness. Opposite is true for perfection. When you are looking to correct things all the time, it is almost impossible to be in a state of complete happiness at the same time. Which is precisely the reason we rarely feel content and always look for upgrades. Silence kills us, stillness troubles us and a mere thought of ­‘doing-nothing’ is enough to put us in a state of melancholy. And it does not feel right.

In a world, filled with industrial products and luxurious services, we do need perfection (at least professionally) to maintain the quality of those products and services. But the danger lies in the fact that it has slowly crept into our personal lives, and sometimes we cannot help it. Let’s avoid that. Let’s not look for corrections and improvements all the time, and give each other some space to appreciate things just the way they are. Let’s not look for a perfect life, but a happy life.

Published by Deepak Rana

A writer, a wanderer. Keeps dreaming and aspires to make them true.

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