I am sure you have all heard and maybe even said, "practice makes perfect." Look, I understand that there is motivation behind these words, but guess what, practice does not make perfect, it makes progress.
Striving for perfection is debilitating. Why? When perfection is our goal we become critical of ourselves or others. Since we all have different personalities we all react to trying to meet perfection differently. We hope that the statement, "practice makes perfect," will create determination, of course nothing is wrong with being determined, but determination will not make you perfect.
Perfection should not be anyone's goal. Why? We are and never will be perfect as human beings. We all have flaws and mess up. But guess what! This does not make us any less of a person, what it does, is make us human, and human beings are all different and unique. All living things on this earth are not created to be the same. We need to come to terms with our "imperfections" or differences and learn to accept them, love ourselves, and others and not let them hold us back from progressing.
Why do we strive as humans for perfection? Part of our human instinct is to be better than others. For some reason we are in survival of the fittest, smartest, largest, cutest, on and on and on and we can see this part of our nature even in very young children. However this does not really benefit our life and the lives of those around us because it does not lead to happiness. What is life without happiness? Life then becomes a never ending goal of seeking happiness that is fleeting because it only comes at times when we feel we are more special or better than someone else.
Who determines what perfection is? Will you? Will society? Will your parents? Will your Deity?
If you determine perfection, your standards of perfection will never be reached until you come to accept yourself as you are.
If it is society, societies all over the world try to create standards of perfection that are all different and all destructive to humanity. Notice how societies esteem people they think have perfection, to only find out they aren't perfect. Others seem to compare themselves and become self critical and destructive. We start thinking of humans as objects instead of people. We look at differences with shame and disgust rather than acceptance and tolerance.
We see many times over again in history that societies lose humanity when we think perfection is the key to solving our problems instead of progression. The extremes leads us to war, death, and destruction. This is the opposite of progression.
Is your Deity determining perfection? I don't care what religion you are or if you claim no religion at all. We must realize that even the same people of the same religion view some aspect of their Deity different because we are all different. It is still your view of perfection that you gather from your relationship with your Deity and if you don't have a relationship it comes from your own standards. The relationship between a person and their religious beliefs is very personal and individualized. One thing is the same for all of us and that is our human nature. It is in our nature to create some standard of perfection and then try to measure up to it. Which leads us to comparing our perfection to others. Which always leads to destruction of self or others.
Until a person has a relationship with their "Deity, Creator, Dictator, Themselves..." that requires progress and not perfection, the relationship creates sadness, grief, and self destruction. It is the same relationship a parent will have with their child when they require perfection from them.
Anything can be taken from you in just a moment, your health, your sanity, your knowledge, your family, your beauty, your money, your house, your freedom, but you can not fear life and you have to have relationships built around acceptance and trust, not fear, perfection and shame. Love and trust is the relationship you should have in your religion and the people you care about most. Love and trust leads us to celebrate our uniqueness and motivates us to progress.
We can not take the variety out of humans or nature, nor should we try to take it out of ourselves and others, because it is beautiful and good.
We can be great, we can be awesome, we can do great things, but no we can not, nor will we ever be perfect. Don't give yourself that standard, instead say, "practice makes progress," and keep progressing forward and you will always find happiness and your best self.