Perfection stops. Excellence helps you move forward. Which one would you like to go with?
There are few things and experiences in life for which we can’t find a word in any dictionary. [That’s why new words are included in dictionaries worldwide, in every new edition.] Similarly, few words exist only in the dictionary but not in real life. Perfection is one of such words.
Merriam-Webster defines Perfection as “the quality or state of being perfect.” Perfect is defined as “being entirely without fault or defect.”
Excellence is defined in Merriam-Webster as “the quality of being excellent.” Excellent means “very good of its kind.”
While, in common parlance, you and other people might consider excellence and perfection as the same thing, there is a thin line between the two that sets them apart.
Perfection and excellence are not the same, but very different. Perfection stops. Excellence helps you move forward.Vishnu Goyal
To understand more about the two, I will discuss excellence and perfection in the context of your work, a product, and a service.
Perfection and Excellence in Context of Your Work
In your mind, roll back a list of all the work you have done so far, all the products you have made or contributed to, all the services you have aided or provided.
Now, ask a few questions to yourself:
Was there any room for improvement in the work you did?
Is there any room for improvement?
I am sure that you will get a “Yes” for an answer.
Perhaps you did your best at the time and got the task done in the best possible manner. You didn’t halt your work. You made progress. That’s excellence. That’s what important.
Your work might be excellent. Your work is not perfect. The same holds true for the work of mine as well as that of others. You know that well. Don’t you?
Perfection and Excellence in Context of a Product
Regarding excellence and perfection, one product example that everybody can relate to is the example of Microsoft Windows. Microsoft released Windows on November 20, 1985. Since then, not a year has gone by when there is no update in Windows.
Well, there was room for improvement, there is room for improvement, and there will always be room for improvement.
With every Windows update, Microsoft Team is making Windows better for every user.
Microsoft Windows is an excellent operating system. Microsoft Windows is not a perfect operating system. The same holds true for other leading operating systems and other products in markets worldwide.
Perfection and Excellence in Context of a Service
I have worked for more than three years in the legal industry, where I was part of the team involved in providing tax consultancy and advisory services to prominent corporations.
Let me tell you that with every project and with every client, we got to learn something new. That learning and experience kept making our services and workflow better and better.
While our advisory services were excellent, our advisory services were not perfect. The same holds true for services provided by any person or any organization.
Conclusion: Chase Perfection in Pursuit of Excellence
There is a reason why they say that life is not perfect. In fact, anything is not perfect. As in all aspects of life or work, there is ground for improvement.
Despite putting in our best efforts, moving forward with our best foot, we always, always, lack something. Something due to our unintentional ignorance. Something that is not discovered yet. Something that is yet to be innovated.
I see many people who don’t take their incredible work public thinking that they will do it once their work becomes perfect in their opinion. In my opinion, that’s a terrible thing that most perfection-freaks do. Don’t be one of them. Please.
Do keep moving forward — Chase perfection in pursuit of excellence.Vishnu Goyal
You could always do better. You can do better. That’s why there is no such thing as perfection. So, never be a perfectionist. Never pursue perfection. Leave it in the pages of the dictionary. Pursue excellence instead. Whatever you do, pursue excellence in that.
Chasing perfection can help you do better and achieve excellence. So, chase perfection, not to be perfect, but in pursuit of excellence. I think pursuing excellence by chasing perfection makes way for better progress. It’s a win-win.
Go on. Do keep moving forward — Chase perfection in pursuit of excellence.
[Sidenote: I am sure that this post is not perfect too. After hitting publish, there are going to be some updates therein for sure. However, I am confident that this post will make you rethink your approach to life and work in the context of perfection and excellence, and that makes it an excellent post!]
Keep Doing Good Stuff
[P.S. You are amazing. Let no one tell you otherwise.]
Just one of the 7.9 billion here; spending most of my time playing with words, numbers, and web in pursuit of an imperfect life, raising humanity, and building one carefree world.