We like things to always be perfect here. We WILL be perfect with everything we attempt to do. Maybe a girl wants that perfect hair every time she goes out. The guy with an “illness” wants to eat perfectly so he can achieve health again. The person working at the office makes sure they do everything exactly right so that they can hopefully one day get the big promotion. Maybe you have a brand new car. You get a single little scratch on it and it ruins your day. What do all these have in common? They are striving for perfection. Not goodness or greatness, but perfection. Never-mind the fact that perfection is different to every person. We all have been built up in this country to think that our stuff is never quite good enough. We could always do things a bit better if we try really hard. The problem is that this usually does not happen. The end result is a ton of extra stress and disappointment. Besides, we can never truly be happy and satisfied with our life if there is always room for improvement. So what do we do about it?
Enter the 90/10 rule. This is a rule that basically states that it is better to do things right and aim for 90 percent with a little slack (10 percent) than to strive for perfection. This is an extremely more realistic goal for our lives. Aiming for 90 percent usually ends up accomplishing more than going for the 100. Kind of counterintuitive right? Somehow by relaxing about it, we end up doing things we might not have earlier. Maybe you’re a 4.0 student nervous to turn in that paper because you think you didn’t do it quite right. The sports player who is so mad he just LOST the olympics. Think of what it takes just to MAKE IT to the olympics. That is something to be proud of. Obviously i think striving for greatness is a good thing. However, don’t put the stress on yourself if something is not crucial to your life. In reality, the olympics is just a sport. It’s entertainment. That 4.0 on your transcript might look nice and get you into a better school but it is not the end of the world getting a 3.9. Maybe letting yourself get that 3.9 unwinds you enough to where you take up a musical instrument. Possibly travel and see the country a little bit. That evolves your “character” and might just give you a better shot of actually accomplishing things someday.
I think the best way to do this is to take a look at what your real GOALS are. If you start seeing that aiming for “perfection” is actually stopping you instead of helping you, it may be time to apply the good old 90/10 rule. That 10 percent may not seem like much, but when you let it go, you may find that you like yourself a lot better that way. In the end, we are all human beings. We live in a society that is pushing us to be more robot than human. Humans make mistakes. We have fears. We mess up. So please, aim more for being a GREAT HUMAN BEING than trying to be a not so good robot.