— Ivan W. Lam (@IvanWLam) January 25, 2015
Perfection is Only a Guide.
In my senior year of high school, I was voted Perfectionist. I was sort of proud of being one, as annoying as it was for everyone around me. I fondly remember that every year all my textbooks were wrapped in the same way with brown paper grocery bags, marked and labeled in a consistent, branding-like format, which also applied to my matching binders. I had a vision for how certain things should be, and I did everything I can, even at the expense of my time and energy and my friends’ patience to achieve it.
Since then, through countless trials and errors in life, and partial successes and failures, I’ve come to realize that perfection is rarely needed in most tasks in life, and it usually has a low return on investment, offsetting any happiness I’d gain because of how much more work it needs. Therefore, I’ve accepted many realities of life and have become more laid back about a lot of things, especially when they are out of my control. It also took away some of the stress I had been carrying constantly.
The drive is still there; my vision is still there. This is undoubtedly true at work, where my eye for visual and experiential detail as a UI and UX designer is sharper than ever. And because I work in very fast-paced situations, I have also learned to better discern which less-than-perfect detail should be fixed and which are “shippable” due to time and/or resources. It’s a compromise, but it still reaches the highest possible level of quality based on the given circumstances, and that’s how I approach what I do these days. Perfection is a fantasy, but “really really really good” is still achievable. As long as I shoot for the moon, I will still be among the stars, as they say.
So for things that I can control, I still want the best that I can get. I still have visions to make my home look like they do in home decor magazines and catalogs. I still have a vision of being in the best physical health that I can possibly get. I still have a vision of being the best human being that I can be to my world and to the world. I want to live my best life.
1, 3, 16, 25.