Beware the Road to Perfect


No road here.


I discovered today that the Road to Perfect is covered in wet tar, lined with brambles, kudzu, and poison ivy, and is policed by dragons flying overhead. You’re probably way ahead of me, and already know that. And what I’m going to say next…

The Road to Perfect is nearly impassable because it doesn’t lead anywhere except to hell. Okay. Maybe not literal hell. But at least the hell of disappointment and despair. Because Perfect is not a real destination. It’s an ideal. It exists only in our minds, and everyone’s idea of Perfect is necessarily different.

It’s a lesson I have to learn on an almost daily basis. There’s a hanging judge in my head who threatens me at every turn, daring me to settle for anything less than perfect. This judge is hugely powerful only because I give her the power. But she’s actually the delusional one. I think she really does believe that Perfect exists, and that I should put up with the tar and the bramble and the dragons. That fighting them to finally reach Perfect is the only way to move forward. That Perfect is the only possible goal.

There are better roads to travel, I think. Rather than focusing on the Perfect object itself, look for other paths: The Road to Satisfaction. The Road to Experimentation. The Road to Knowledge. The Road to Generosity. The Road to Courage. The Road to Justice. The Road to Someone Else’s Need.

But perhaps all of these roads can be combined into a single wide road that can sometimes be bumpy and challenging but will lead us to where we can be most content:  The Road to Enough.


6 thoughts on “Beware the Road to Perfect”

  1. Priscilla says:

    Ugh, perfectionism, I fight it every day. When it gets the best of me I am paralyzed. When I get the best of it I soar.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      Exactly! Wouldn’t we be forces to be reckoned with if we could tame that dragon ALL the time?

  2. skyecaitlin says:

    Gasp! This entry is beautifully written with twists, turns and logic and ethereal logic. Laura, you are a brilliant and captivating writer. In compact space, you have captured enormous balance.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      I’m so glad it speaks to you, Skye. *blushes a lot*

  3. J.T. Ellison says:

    Love this — as a regular walker on the Road to Perfection, I needed this today.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      We walk together, my dear.

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