On Life
Practical philosophy to change your life.


Self Development

August 29, 2023

Perfection is Not Reality, It's an Ideal You Work Towards

You will never be perfect. You will never reach a state of flawless being. 

Perfection is not reality. 

Reality is that you are human. Humans have flaws. We make mistakes. We fall short of what we want to achieve. We act out in ways that do not always serve our purpose. 

Reality is that life is complex. We would only be able to navigate through life without ever making a mistake and living to our fullest potential if we knew every single variable that life threw at us. That’s impossible. So instead we do our best to live what we think is the ideal human being based on the information about life we have at our disposal.

We may know all this, yet we still beat up on ourselves when we are not being perfect.


Each of us holds in our minds what the perfect, ideal version of ourselves would be. We know how the perfect version of ourselves would act, look like, and achieve. We want to be that person. So we strive to become that person. Every time we fall short, as we inevitably will, we are reminded of the fact that we are not and will never be that person. Remember, that person is not reality. It’s an ideal you work towards.

Collectively, our society holds in its minds what the perfect, ideal version of a human being is. In religion, these beings are labeled as gods, perfect beings that exhibit all the qualities and traits we strive to have. Every time we fall short, as we inevitably will, we repent and work to make ourselves in the image of those gods. Remember, gods are not reality. They are an ideal you work towards.

You will never be perfect, but striving for perfection is not wrong. Do everything you can to develop and try to become perfect. Just don’t pile on the shame, guilt, or remorse when you never reach it. Developing oneself is hard enough as it is. Don’t make it harder by carrying the extra baggage.

When you stop seeing perfection as reality and instead as an ideal you work towards, you stop having resentment about trying to reach it. You know you are choosing to work towards perfection, rather than being required to. You have grace with yourself when you fall short. You’re kind to others, because you know they are doing their best to try and reach an unattainable state. You appreciate every step you make towards being perfect, because any progress you make towards something impossible is a feat in its own right. 

So the next time you are not being perfect, remember, perfection is not reality. It’s an ideal you work towards.

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