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Opinion: Should you strive for perfection?

Perfection is not attainable but is a goal that can be used as a tool for everyone to succeed and become their best selves.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/briianchenn/" target="_self">Brian Chen</a>

Brian Chen

June 8, 2022
As many people attempt perfection in their personal or professional lives and demand perfection from others, controversy arises as to whether perfection is plausible. Although all people have some similar conceptions of perfection, it is an arbitrary idea with different definitions for everyone. However, perfection is a concept used to drive people to become or create the best they can even when true perfection is impossible without omnipotent assistance. With the goal of perfection, they will reach a target of greatness with little flaw.

Personally, striving for perfection is what helps me reach my fullest potential. I strive for a perfect score on all my exams, but reaching such accuracy and precision is nearly impossible. Regardless, I aim for the highest possible score not because I expect it, but rather because doing so will minimize my error rate; although I won’t reach perfection nor expect to, I simply use it as a tool to enter a zone of success. 

My strategy of striving for perfection was especially tested and particularly helpful in a class I distinctly remember struggling in back in freshman year — honors biology. I struggled to understand the concepts that we had to learn in class. For instance, the complexities of the process of photosynthesis and its complementary Calvin cycle felt like graphs and arrows flew circles around me as I tried to grasp the fine details of how the chemicals and energy transfers interacted to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and back again.

Despite such cognitive challenges, I continued to strive for perfection, to understand every conception fluidly and be able to perform flawlessly on the tests, assignments, and labs. Through having perfection as a goal, I was able to maintain a low A in the class, and though a low A is not a perfect score, it was only by making perfection a goal that I could perform at even this level. 

Similarly, many others also demand perfection from themselves or others, not because they expect it, but rather because they will still perform at an exceptional level if they accomplish a shred less than perfection. In other words, mastering a skill with complete expertise is only possible if one shoots for perfection and aiming for anything less will lead to mediocrity. 

In conclusion, perfection is not attainable but should be desirable in order to reach greatness. Perfection is a goal that can be used as a tool for everyone to succeed and become their best selves. Despite the unlikelihood of true perfection, perfection needs to be one’s goal if one desires success.