Perfectionists Are My Role-Models

Being a perfectionist is a great thing, in my opinion. A Korean friend recently said that the Western psychology labels perfectionism as almost a disorder. But in the engineering field, he said, perfectionism is critical to success. That’s because one tiny error in calculation can have catastrophic outcomes, such as explosions.

Why settle for less than our personal best?

Here are some of my ethics that defy common Western views.

First, anger management is not a good thing. Instead, complete anger cessation should be the true measure of success. We can stop all anger from manifesting if we never articulate anger but instead express love.

Second, there is no such thing as healthy jealousy. Jealousy invokes anger, which leaves ourselves and others in the quake of bitterness. Instead, showing heart-based love to our rivals leads us closer to a perfect outcome.

Third, performing subpar at sports, work, or school should never be our endeavor. When I played volleyball in junior high, I was terrible. I could hardly hit the ball over the net. Instead of staying in this rut, I inquired about proper form and spent time after school practicing serves over and over, using proper technique. I won the “most improved” award for the team and a bronze medal for top athlete.  Steady adjustments need to happen whenever we have room to grow into better performers.

Fourth, there is no such thing as healthy or constructive criticism. This point comes from author Paul Friedman. He says criticism is negative, no matter how we try to frame it. It’s good to accept criticism as a learning tool, but never ideal to dish it out on others.

Fifth, boundaries are never healthy with people we love most, namely our spouses. Instead of boundaries (which are like walls), why not demonstrate selflessness, empathy, and an outpouring of nothing but love?

Fifth, we can train our mind to be happy 24-7. We can reframe everything that happens into positives, even when the events are catastrophic. Reframing negatives into positives helps us lead happy lives.

Sixth, aiming for the perfect diet is paramount. People often say, “You’ve got to live a little,” or, “You’ve got to treat yourself every now and then.” I quit sugar for the year (with the exception of fruit). Now, no more acne. No more rotted teeth. No more sugar cravings. I also quit caffeine. Now, no more restless nights. No more crashes in the day. No more heart palpitations and anxiety.

Lastly, I believe perfectionism is a good thing. If perfectionism prevents us from meeting deadlines, then we haven’t yet achieved the perfectionist ideal. It’s a myth, in my opinion, that true perfectionism is a bad thing.

Just ask someone from another culture or vocation, and they just might agree.