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Embracing imperfection

For most part of our education and up to university, we have been conditioned to conform and succeed. We have been constantly told and guided on what it takes to be a “successful person” and the parameters that define it. These include many things including - wealth, the “right” career, status, family, kids, education, being well liked and well behaved, etc etc - the list goes on. These ideologies gets further reinforced when we see the numerous self accolades and congratulatory messages on the social media feeds of our peers.

In reality, life does not always go according to plan.

Not everyone becomes a top achiever in their field or cohort, not everyone can get an impeccable score for their tests and be perceived as the role model playing immaculately by the rulebook. It's hard to live a life without blemishes or bumps.

But I think being a perfectionist that way can be detrimental.

It is not about being able to relate to others who are also imperfect or making you seem more real as a person. It all comes down to survival.

In vaccinations, a weakened virus is being introduced to the human body. This "jolts" and disrupts the normal functioning of the human body but also enables the immune system to “learn” and defend itself from similar future external threats.

Darwin’s theory of evolution also illustrates that perfectionism, in the form of inbreeding and lack of genetic diversity also results in weaker offspring. The blemish in the pedigree lineage is what makes the each generation of organisms stronger. It is the imperfection that makes them stronger and increases their probability of survival.

Being too perfect makes one vulnerable to shocks - the shock of losing a job, money, health, basically anything precious. The little disruptions that throw us off the conventional course of life can be discomforting and at times debilitating. But they help build up our defences, make us mentally stronger and conditions us to be better prepared for other nasty surprises in life.

Therefore, nowadays, when I see successful people being portrayed in the media, I don't always look up to them as perfect role models for where they are now. In getting to where they are today, many of them may have crossed many boundaries and broken many rules before getting to where they are today. Not to be pessimistic but many start-ups end up as failed ventures by following the conventional path of growth.

Never try to be the perfect persona of what the world wants you to be.


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