I'm sure we're all guilty of once having uttered the phrase 'practice makes perfect'. But what does perfect look like, and why do we often view it as a goal to strive for?
In metric driven models such as sales, perfect could be regarded as the most purchased product in a line. But, does that make the product perfect? It may just mean it's cheaper, more available or has smarter packaging design.
Car rental firm Avis ran a hugely successful advertising campaign where the toted the line; "We're number 2, so we try harder."
Having a goal to pursue is an invaluable motivator, provided you have a healthy understanding of goal achievement.
A goal of; I will run 5km in under 30 minutes is a great example of a healthy goal.
Whereas a goal of; I will be the best 5km runner in my age category in the county is pretty unhealthy in many ways.
Your idea of best here, means fastest. However, comparison to others, poor form, an injury or poor support materials could derail you and damage you in the long term both physically and mentally. If you watched the TV series Friends, this pursuit of an unhealthy goal may remind you of when Monica Geller's high achieving boyfriend, Pete, spontaneously decides to become the ultimate fighting champion!
The rise of 'toxic perfectionism' is causing worrying concerns in it's association with various health problems. It's useful to understand perfectionism and how both we and our children can be prone to it.
This article is a great long read that really digs deep into the subject and explores how striving for excellence is a much healthier attitude to adopt.