Perfectly Horrible

Perfectionism is not a good thing; it’s a curse for those who have it and for those who live with those who have it. I’m not saying don’t care, I’m not suggesting you try to get by with sloppy or half done work, and I’m not saying attention to detail is unimportant. But none of those is what perfectionism is about. Perfectionism is setting a standard for yourself (and ever worse, for others) that is unrealistic,  unwise, or impossible given the situation. Usually, it’s not about trying to do well, but rather about needing to prove something by doing it “perfectly”.

A practical example from my life:

A couple of decades ago I tried to make a living doing work-work. I managed to assemble the needed tools and space to work and was able, by word of mouth, to gain clients who wanted specialised furniture and other fine wood articles. I did good work – the problem is my work was often too good. No one complained about  it being greater quality than they expected, but the amount of time needed to produce that quality meant I was making far less per hour than I needed to make. I had to learn to give the customer what they were willing to pay for, as opposed to the very best I could do. When I had customers willing to pay twice as much for that extra 10% of quality, I was thrilled and enjoyed doing it. But doing 100% quality for half of what it should cost wasn’t wise, wasn’t good business, and wasn’t good for my family!

By the time I was doing landscape and irrigation a few years later I had this concept down. AI had a few customers who wanted it done to perfection and were willing to pay for that. These were my favourite customers. I had a number of customers who wanted it done fairly well – I charged them accordingly, and everyone was happy. I had a few who wanted top quality at a cut-rate price – they became former customers.

If you tend towards perfectionism, it’s hurting your bride in some way. If you put your perfectionist expectations on your bride, you might as well be holding a gun on the future of your marriage. Think about it, pray about it, talk about it. Find reasonable levels of perfection for things and learn to live within those. 

2 Comments on “Perfectly Horrible

  1. Speaking of perfectionism…..

    I’ll bet you meant wood worker, not “work-worker”. ;)

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