Perfect-Shmerfect – Is anything in life really perfect outside of baseball?

As I opened Star Tribune this morning… I was reminded that a baseball mound is one of the few places or spaces in this world, where perfection is a possibility.

Saturday, April 21st, White Sox Pitcher Phil Humber threw only the 21st perfect game in Major League history, giving up no walks and no hits.

Before throwing his first pitch, do you think Humber was thinking he was going to have a perfect game? No way. Even after the game, he expressed surprise .  He said “No idea what my name is doing there, but I’m thankful,” referring to the short list of major league pitchers who’ve pitched perfect games.

So where am I going with this? If you ask me, in most circumstances perfection is unattainable.  It’s not a realistic outcome.  When is the last time you were striving for perfection? What was the scenario? How did that work for you? Were you happy with the results? Or were you disappointed because not every single detail went as planned? Who defines perfection? One person’s idea of what’s perfect may be totally different from someone else’s.

Hence when I found this phrase on Pinterest it totally resonated with me.

Source: via Lori on Pinterest

I like the idea of Striving for Excellence because it implies you are pushing hard to get the best results possible.

Personally,  I think the world would be a better place if we all tossed perfection to the wind and focused more on specific measurable results.  How about striving for accuracy?  Or striving for X-amount of quality hours with your kids each week, or striving to be on-time like your favorite airline. Whatever goal or goals that are important to you, strive for that.

If you strive for perfection or ask others to strive for perfection, I believe it comes with a price.

Perfection is actually very broad in scope. And because it’s so ambiguous, it encourages people to play it safe.  Fear of making a mistake can be paralyzing.  It curtails creativity. You get so caught up in the minutia, you start to over think everything sending your mind into an unproductive tailspin. At least, that’s been my experience.

What have you ever measured that’s been perfect? I may have had a few test scores when I was young that were perfect. But after graduation, in the grown up world, where’s perfection then?

I’m certainly not a perfect parent, but I do the best I can.

My house certainly isn’t perfectly clean, but it’s livable for my family.

Am I a perfect employee?  Nope.  But I give it my all every day.

Am I the perfect wife, far from it.

Because I recognize I am not perfect,  it makes it easier to love and embrace others without judgment.

I believe if you can let go of this vision of perfection,  it’s a path to happiness and success.  You won’t be side-tracked by let downs, disappointment and doubt. Instead motivated to keep trying.

If you are pining for perfection, you are going to run into a lot of dead ends .  Life is a series of detours. And sometimes it is our mistakes and our ability to change course that lead to our greatest successes often in the most unexpected places.

Cheers to having the courage to make mistakes.