The Creed of Excellence
Perfection is a lofty ideal. The pursuit of excellence is the real prize.
“Mastery is an asymptote: It’s impossible to fully realize, which makes it simultaneously frustrating and alluring.” — Sharan B. Merriam
Perfection eludes at every step. And yet... like moth to the flame, we cannot resist.
Perfection is a mirage, a beautiful one at that. It provides a useful target, but only if it remains a target avoiding obsession, which itself is the ugliest and most destructive form of passion.
“Have no fear of perfection... you’ll never reach it.” — Salvador Dali
Perfection remains just out of reach, even for the greatest among us. For what we see as perfection today is eclipsed by a bold new standard-bearer tomorrow. Witness the Olympic champion who strives for the record and breaks it... repeatedly.
“It’s not about perfection; it’s about the joy of striving.” — Thomas Keller
One more step forward always exists. It may take the effort of generations to uncover, but it is there... waiting to be discovered. Curiosity and courage lead the way... a call we cannot ignore.
Some among us fall victim to the asymptotic nature of learning. After easy gains, improvement is increasingly more difficult. Nature tests us. It asks more of us. Those who endure enter the rarefied air of excellence.
Joy is not rooted in achievement, which itself is ephemeral. It is found in testing limits and finding them movable. Herein lies the creed of excellence. Do not obsess over perfection. Relish the pursuit of excellence and its byproduct joy.
“If I were a function, you would be my asymptote. I always tend toward you.” — Penny Reid
I do not wish you achievement or perfection. I wish you joy in the pursuit of excellence. If there is a heaven on earth, then surely it is found there. The hunt never ends, nor would we wish it. For in such an end lies the end of all joy.
🤔 Food for Thought:
Are you testing the limits of what is possible?
Are you finding joy in striving or the mirage of perfection?
Will you join us in the creed of excellence?
⚙️ One Small Step:
The best way to avoid obsession of perfection is this...
Set a direction toward what you perceive to be perfection.
Identify a challenging but possible step in its direction.
Focus intently on the step, and only the step.
Now repeat this cycle until you no longer find joy in the pursuit.