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Rabu, 05 Oktober 2016

The Unhappy Perfectionist

Today, I'll write a short post (or maybe not, we'll see). 

It's been a while since I've written anything. An article or even a diary (yes, I still keep my diary flowing). So, my language is about to get a little rough, hehe. 

I stumbled across this inspiring article in a small magazine called Intisari. My mom used to subscribe monthly. Today I read an article written by Alexander Sriewijono in a column, which I don't want to mention because's about Career. Well, yea, hello, insecurity anyone? 

Okay, so he is a Psychologist & a Founder of Daily Meaning. "The Perfect Imperfection" is an article that we all perfectionist can relate to.

A little backstory I want to tell you. All my life I have not been perfect, but naturally I am born-perfectionist. Among 4 temperaments they have, I'm the one who says "Has/Have to" and "This, cannot be this way." "You are so wrong."  and so on. I am Choleric-Sanguine. 'A Boss Who Likes To Show Off', that's what I say hahaa.  What is 4 temperaments and what kind of temperaments do you have? 

I've known this for about almost a year. And I learned a lot from it. The way I treat people, the way I project myself and the way I treat myself. 

Among the other articles that I've read, this one takes me back while I was working in a highly competitive, highly scheduled, highly strict deadlines and high achieved company. I was being trained to be perfect and trained to be one of the great. I was continuously cautious and become a very detailed person at reading any single thing. When I was a kid I was very known to my mother as a sloppy person. Well, maybe I wasn't. Anyway, I couldn't achieved a period of deadlines because I spent to much time concentrating and constraining on the details. I was at a learning level and tried to be much more professional. At the end of the result, I was so devastated because I couldn't achieved two things at once: achieved the deadline and a good set of drawings. I was tired emotionally and physically, also my confidence had crushed down. It's a sign that it was not good. And at that time, I restrict myself that: I never could achieve the deadline and that I am done. It's also not~~ a good way of thinking. 

Alexander wrote in Bahasa Indonesia: 
"Kondisi lainnya yang mungkin terjadi adalah pekerjaan yang tidak kunjung tuntas karena merasa harus perfect untuk semua hal, termasuk detail yang kurang penting yang bahkan tidak perlu perlu sesempurana itu. Sangat perlu diingatkan, kadang-kadang, bahwa 'Done' lebih baik daripada 'Perfect and Never Completed'

My colleague was saying that word: "Better be done than perfect, Kar." 

So what we all can learn, whatever is our background and whatever the risks that we have at stakes, is to mindset ourselves that being 'Optimal' is better than 'Perfect'. Our bosses out there must've pushes like this "I want perfection!". And you couldn't argue with your boss. You just said yes. And you reminded yourself: "I gotta be perfect. This project has to be perfect. Perfect. Perfect." 

The result is you're going to be like this: The Unhappy Perfectionist. 

I will quote him again:

"Kondisi-kondisi 'perfectionist' tersebut yang cenderung bisa membuat kita lebih tidak bahagia dalam berproses, dan juga bisa membuat orang-orang di sekitar kita ikut terseret tidak bahagia."

This happens when you put your mindset into a mode that boxed you in a electrical fence. When wrong, they electrify you (scary analogy..haha).  The matter is, they don't! What if, you change your mindset in a Optimal mode. 

"Optimal lebih mengajak kita untuk melakukan sebaik yang kita bisa lakukan dalam konteks waktu dan kondisi yang ada. Kita lebih tidak keras untuk menargetkan kesempurnaan, bila dalam kenyataannya ada keterbatasan waktu, tenaga, biaya dan kondisi lainnya. Kita tetap mencari jalan keluar yang paling optimal, yang paling memungkinkan untuk dicapai." 
You might be thinking now: "I know, I know, pfft, I can do that.". It will be much harder than said. Afraid not, Optimum mode will become much more easier when you just take 5 minutes of break, drink a coffee, or even staring at a blank wall and it will come to your senses. Don't be stressed out.

Alexander suggest that we make peace with ourselves. YES, YOURSELF, DUDE! Not the JOB! He said that we learn to enjoy the beauty of 'the perfect imperfection'. "We have to learn to be more comfortable with feedback or suggestions. It shows that we are not perfect and feedback makes us much better person. Learn to be more comfortable at failures, because it is not the end of everything." he wrote.

At the end of the article, and eventually my latest favorite new quote:

"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced"
- Soren Kierkgaard

You only lived once, be happy because life is a journey! Be scared of being a boxed person, be scared of being a money-go-getter, be scared of being a very dull and controlling. The worth of life is happiness.

P.s: I, myself, is also in the learning process. Even when I'm writing this article.