When You’re “Perfect,” It’s Time to Quit

keep-calm-because-nobody-s-perfect-4By Aubrey Murtha – Recently, one of my professors said, “When we claim that we are doing our job perfectly, it is time to quit.”

I think this is one of the wisest aphorisms I have heard in quite some time. We can work day in and day out in an attempt to perfect our craft, and I sincerely hope that you are that dedicated to your profession—whatever that may be.

However, once we say that we have mastered something, we are either not taking sufficient time to reflect on our performance abilities, or we have reached a point where it is crucial to invest our energies in a new and challenging passion. Indeed, if we become too comfortable in our ability to do something, our belief in our own personal perfection will inevitably lead to laziness.

Think about how this could apply to your daily life. As a student, I never claim to be perfect at anything, in part because school is constantly challenging, but also because learning is a process that requires continuous growth and development. For those teachers reading my post today, we must be proper motivators for our students, recognizing that they are not perfect but encouraging them to strive for excellence.

We must also remember our own limitations and aim to improve. If teaching is consistently easy for you, it may be time to consider extending yourself further, trying something new, delving into a task that may be incredibly foreign to you, embracing your imperfection and pushing onward despite the potential for failure.

“It is failure that guides evolution; perfection provides no incentive for improvement, and nothing is perfect.”  ― Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist

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