03 Perfection implies finished. Nothing is ever complete. All things change.
About this Manifesto
From a concept of completed to a state of impeccable flawlessness, our focus and cultural definition of perfection would benefit from embracing the realities of change and impermanence.
The root of the word perfect is to “completely do.”
As it translated to perfectus in Latin over time, it took on the meaning of “completion” or “completed.”
To complete things is excellent! How would we ever continue a project or move onto new things if the prior steps weren’t complete.
Completion contributes to wholeness, senses of calm and contentment. To make something complete is, according to linguists, to make it perfect.
Yet somehow over time, we’ve twisted a sense of completion into one of being free from flaws and defects.
As I said in Manifesto #2: Flaws are real. Perfection is Fake., seeking flawlessness in a technical object, or seeking to produce an artistic expression without error is a healthy pursuit of perfection.
However, we must not allow this new and twisted “free from flaws” definition to become internalized and weaponized against ourselves.
When we adopt perfection as a flawless state and apply it to our looks, partners, family, and our passion pursuits—we open up ourselves (and others) to inevitable disappointment and pain.
As for perfect being complete, that is only true for a moment.
Things may reach a temporary state of completion—a moment where any other additions or subtractions would take away from its wholeness. And that only lasts for a moment.
Entropy, or the gradual and persistent decline of order into disorder, is always nipping at the foundation of anything. And it begins as soon as you put down the last tool, or make that last move.
We pour massive effort into longevity: into our buildings, our tools, and even ourselves.
When we work towards creating a durable and long-lasting presence, we honor our short, fleeting human lives and the lives of those yet to come.
Buildings built well can last for multiple generations, tools made to last pass through many hands, art can delight millions long after its composer is gone.
There is a beauty and transcendence (or “in-cendence”?) in seeking that high-quality completeness, that perfect state. And that feeling evaporates, like our works, as change and entropy march on.
We must seek a balance and not get lost in that pursuit of permanence or perfection. Seek to make things complete and long-lasting, but don’t get lost in the pursuit of perfection
What this is all calling us towards is to be present.
Given that nothing lasts in a state of completion forever because the moment it is complete it is already shifting and changing—we are then called to be here. Now.
Revel in the pleasure of your practices. Laugh at the bumps and bonks as you explore and grow into excellence. Enjoy the journey of creation and experience and not solely fixate on the destination or prize.
Life lives in the moment, not in distant memories or future dreams.
Embrace change, strive to do things well, and play in the now.
Who Is Writing This?
Hey, I'm Tigre Pickett and I'm a recovering perfectionist.
I bought this domain in 2014 and sat on it for seven years before finally taking my own imperfect action and dove into sharing my experiences with perfection. How on brand!
It's my goal to provide others inspiration, guidance and support around befriending perfection by giving it other, more kind and accurate clothes and identities to wear.
I've sold myself short a lot in my life due to perfection's grip. May this website and my work provide you some glorious relief to just be with the messy, flawed, and totally lovable and worthy human you are.