Desember 3, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

The new world and its shifting landscape cast long shadows over the classical trait of perfectionism. Perfectionists are generally slow, uncertain and unfulfilled individuals, fearing rejection and are not really characteristic of winners in the new world.


Few gifts of eminence can be compared with the ability to do things close to perfect first or second time, or to create close to perfect things regularly on a time and cost effective basis. An individual with these characteristics can be viewed as eminent.


However, when the strive to be perfect does not bare eminent creations some of the time, the idealised state of perfectionism is severely questioned.  



Is perfectionism a gift or a curse? If this state of the human being is working in your favour, if it earns you money or makes you happy, surely it can be viewed as a gift. Treasure it and improve your skills. Doing things right, even perfectly right, is no sin but if the quest for being perfect dictates your life and ruins your relationship with your family and friends, it surely is a curse.


This book will critically assess the quest for being perfect from all corners of reality within the unfolding landscape that we label as the new world.


Unfortunately perfectionism is often idolised by less talented people on strength of single gifts such as arranging flowers, baking soft chocolate cakes and using a dumpy level when hanging paintings. 


Even unfortunately is the fact that the self proclaimed carriers of the tag are often well off the mark when it comes to deserving work in any field of effort. Wives tagging their non achieving husbands as perfectionists on strength of the fact that they unpack their meticulously ironed underpants with military precision in freshly painted cupboards are even worse.


The author’s mother is close to the layman’s definition of a perfectionist. Like the Sergeant major in the Army she had a passion for meticulously made beds. The scantest deviation from 90 degree “dixied” sheet corners compelled her to strip the entire half-hearted but timeous effort. Please understand his abrupt dislike in the broad concept of perfectionism. Since his early recollections of bed stripping, the author has become increasingly frightened for any form of hindrance due to perfectionism.


There is a difference between neat and perfectly neat. 


Granted, we need perfectionists. A thorax surgeon needs to connect the arteries 100% correctly, precisely and clinically, provided he does it while the patient is still alive. Once again, percentage play emerges as key denominator.


Glass makers in Venetia are perfectionists. Thank goodness.  Computer programmers, actuaries and engineers dare not make mistakes.  The implications of judgement errors are simply too great.  If their bosses are satisfied with their output, let them perfect forth.


But, thorax surgeons and glass makers are specialists. Outside the confines of their areas of speciality they don’t have to understand larger wholes.  In the business arena, the ball game changes remarkably.


The reality of the globalised world is that the larger we think, the less perfect the world becomes. Perfectionists in higher order thinking roles shaping the new world must be the most frustrated people on earth.


The holistic thinker in the new world doesn’t’ have sufficient time and patience for perfectionism. That is why quality controllers, glass makers and other fractals in a complex universe don’t have to be true holistic thinkers.


Let us take an example from the accounting discipline. Statements that are 100% correct but one day late to take a proactive decision is worth far less than on time statements that are only 95% accurate.     


In the new world we need a mixture of perfectionism, pragmatism and speed.  In the fiercely competitive business arena, speed has emerged as key differentiator between the winner and the loser.  A reasonable solution on time is worth far more than a full-proof and perfect solution that arrives too late.


  1. jannel1 het gesê op Desember 3, 2009

    Uitmuntende stukkie Ouboet. As praktiese ondersteuning vir jou stukkie:

    My nefie is ‘n ingenieur wat vragmotorsleepwaens ontwerp. Bottelmaatskappye sukkel geweldig om bottels van punt A na B te vervoer sonder breekskade. Met sy nuwe ontwerp het my nefie die skade tot 3% en minder per vrag beperk. Sy ontwerp is aanvaar bo ‘n ander ontwerp wat 0% breekskade het, maar vyf keer die koste (en baie meer moeite) van nefie se ontwerp beloop.

  2. En hier sit sukkel ek my gat af om perfek te wees!!

  3. VozSola het gesê op Desember 3, 2009

    Perfection a blessing reborn by the curse itself. Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, but perfection lies in the eye of the perceiver. Most perfectly described as the perception of a hidden blessing in disguise.

    Maw. Perfeksie word oorgelaat aan dié wat dit moet ervaar, en nie diegene wat dit bloot binne hulself laat invaar en wil kontroleer nie. Selfs die mees onperfekte skildery is perfek uit ’n ander se oog.

  4. louisna het gesê op Desember 3, 2009

    Sien Jan, jy en nefie dink pragmaties. Mens kan ‘n 1200 dpi beeld op ‘n screen so groot soos Luftus gooi, maar ‘n PowerPoint-aanbieding kos 1% van die koste en is 99% so effektief.

  5. louisna het gesê op Desember 3, 2009

    Spot on Voz. Perfeksioniste sien die een krom mik raak en mis die stunning beauty van die woud.

  6. louisna het gesê op Desember 3, 2009

    Spaar jou gat Christo. Jy is perfek genoeg. Groete daar ou pel.

  7. Ouboet

    Een van my vorige base was ‘n perfeksionis en toe word sy seuntjie met ‘n gat in die hart gebore…daardie dag het hy besef perfeksionisme is eintlik ‘n gebrek…

  8. louisna het gesê op Desember 3, 2009

    Wys jou tweeling. Of jy die vloer sewe keer perr dag of eenkeer per week vee, die kieme is maar dieselfde.

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