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An interactive Blog and Podcast produced by Garry M. Spotts Consulting

Perfectionism - The Power in its proper definition.

Perfectionism is an interesting topic. Perfectionism is typically personal preference driven, either your own or someone else's. If it is internal, it is a drive to "get it right," If the drive is external, then it becomes a drudgery and ultimately drives people away and damages relationships.

In Koine and Classical Greek, the common Greek spoken in the ancient world, the word translated "perfection" in some Bible Version is "teleos." The word's meaning mutated into "flawlessness" as a result of its use in the Biblical translations, which was never intended.

toggle switch between progress and perfection
© Can Stock Photo / iqoncept

The word perfection should be translated "Maturity." The idea of perfection is not flawlessness but achieving its highest potential. If I achieve my highest potential in this project or task, then the highest potential mark for the next project or task has moved. Perfectionism has a bad rep, but it shouldn't because it should never represent the absence of flaw but should represent the achievement of your stated end.

As it is understood in work and career, perfectionism poses one of the worse challenges to a person because you will never achieve it as it is currently viewed. Whether it is an internal compulsion to flawlessness or an external force driving you to some arbitrary and fictional "perfect," you will likely fail professionally, socially, and emotionally.

I discovered this truth about work; I ask before I begin the project the question, "When we have completed the project, and you review it, what will constitute success in your mind?" Once I have their response, I include that in my post-meeting follow-thru email and documentation. Their statement sets the standard of the best result, "perfection," and I have the opportunity to tweak their expectations at the point of the initial discussion.

What is important is to change your view of perfection from flawlessness to the best possible result, which can be impacted by many factors outside your control.


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