milen.me
milen.me

IMPERFECTION

Driving forces in life.

Permalink

Imperfections are all I see.

Maybe it's just me that's doomed. I cannot remember a single occasion where I have interacted with anything on any level and thought "that's just perfect" — without any exceptions.

I think for the most part, "perfection" as most people define it, is a continuous scale — some things are good, others close to perfect but nothing has or ever will reach perfection. That's the whole point. You're not supposed to achieve it as it might be the only driving force behind your actions. It's like the dream that you keep chasing but never quite get there. You think you're close but the closer you get, the further away perfection seems. To some of you, this might sound awfully similar to Zeno's paradoxes and in a way it is. It's along the lines of another saying that goes around the software development circles — "The last 10% take 90% of the time", which is a bounded version of what I've noted above.

So what are we supposed to do knowing that pure perfection is practically unachievable? When and where do we stop? I think we just entered the realm of personal choice. There are people in all camps, some of them being:

  • "I'm never going to achieve perfection, so I might as well not even try."
  • "I'm never going to achieve perfection but I'll keep trying until I'm close enough."
  • "I'm never going to achieve perfection but I'll keep trying forever."

As all things, each one has its pros and cons. I can only speak for myself and I believe I fall under the last category. I don't think I've given up on anything that's been important to me — I merely put things on hold but I keep an "open loop". Let me tell you, seeing how imperfect your creations are isn't very fun, it's like there's always something that bothers me, I always know I can do a little bit better (note that this applies to all aspects in life).

One of the downsides of never being content with the status quo is that your brain might eventually just give up due to sheer volume of data. I have a huge list of stuff that I need to "fix" that I've been collecting over the years and by the looks of it, it just keeps growing at an even faster rate. I don't believe I'll be able to "mend" all those imperfections but the list provides a single place to collect my open loops, so that I can concentrate on what's most important at the present and worry about the rest at a later time.

Life Drive

Let perfection be your life drive. Perfection in every aspect in your life, whatever these aspects might be. Acknowledge the fact that you'll never get there but don't let this ruin the journey for you — it's exactly that journey that will matter in the end. Never stop dreaming, never become content with who you are. Don't tell me there's nothing else you can do because that's a lie. And never say never. Did I just contradict myself?

Focusing vs. Multitasking

I used to be very confused about the balance between focusing and multitasking. I suppose it's a individual trait — I know people who are incredibly good at multitasking while others can't handle more than a couple of tasks at a time, like myself. You should keep in mind that in the majority of cases, quality takes priority over quantity (with some exceptions). For me, I know that the number of things that I can be seriously involved with is two — no more, no less. Maybe that's a bit too low for you, maybe it's too high but it's just perfect in my world — it allows me to devote all my time and effort into them. When I say devotion, I do mean it — those "things" are the most important aspects of my life at any single time, everything else is just noise. It's like there's this wall that filters out all the unnecessary distractions and allows me to focus, so that my brain can work in the most effective way.

Keep Improving

I cannot stress it enough. Keep improving the world around you, one step at a time, including yourself. The crucial part is to do it all the time and let it become a defining part of who you are as an individual.

I know I will be and I'll be loving every second of it.

Any opinions and viewpoints expressed, explicitly or implicitly, are not endorsed by and do not represent any of my previous, current or future employers.