Excellence is not perfection

In 2009, when I moved back to India, the first thing I did was to buy a car. And in the very first week, in the parking area, a big coconut fell on its bonnet, putting a crater-sized dent.

When I saw it in the morning, I was really heartbroken.

Fast forward a decade later, and one day, while I was driving the car in Trivandrum, an overspeeding car nudged it on the side causing a massive jerk. This time, however, I did not even bother to stop and check.

I later saw a wide scratch and dent on the car but I just shrugged and moved on.

What changed? Why did it not bother me this time?

Because the car was already old and dented, I really didn’t care about one more dent.

Once we feel that something is imperfect, we stop caring how bad it gets. While it helped me in this case, in general, this ‘all or nothing’ perfectionist mindset can really hurt us.

Here are some examples: Once we eat junk food, we might as well go and binge on everything. If I watched two episodes of Netflix, let me finish the whole series — how does it matter anymore?.

Life is rarely perfect, but it does not have to be.

Excellence is not perfection. Excellence is the unending quest to become better despite being imperfect.

– Rajan


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