Perfection Is The Enemy of Action
by DW Green — June 16, 2021
Psychologists speak of cognitive distortions—exaggerated thinking patterns that have a destructive impact on the life of the patient. One of the most common is known as all-or-nothing thinking (also referred to as splitting). Examples of this include thoughts like:
- If you’re not with me, you’re against me.
- So and so is all good/bad.
- Because this wasn’t a complete success, it is a total failure.
This sort of extreme thinking is associated with depression and frustration. How could it not be? Perfectionism rarely begets perfection—only disappointment.
Pragmatism has no such hang-ups. It’ll take what it can get. We’re never going to be perfect—if there is even such a thing. We’re human, after all. Our pursuits should be aimed at progress, however little that it’s possible for us to make.
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