“The way to be happy is to find something that requires the kind of perfection that’s impossible to achieve and spend the rest of your life trying to achieve it.” ~ Winston Churchill
I like beginning these with quotes. I love quotes. They are brilliant ideas from brilliant people captured in easily digestible little nuggets.
And who better to quote than Winston Churchill? I really like message here, and it’s particularly meaningful to artists who must create something, because that creation often falls short of our vision.
When I’m writing, there’s always the nagging feeling that I’ve got the gist of what I’m trying to say, but the full magnitude is always just out of reach. I suppose if I nailed it every time, there’d be nothing to continue to strive towards, and that would make the whole enterprise rather dull. It’s the chase, as always, that keeps us coming back for more.
But don’t let that stop you from trying. Perfectionism can be a double edged sword, and if you let the fear of failure prevent you from succeeding, you’ll never know the joy of seeing your vision realised. It’s healthy to strive for that perfect ideal, but never let that get in the way of your accomplishments. It’s something I must frequently remind myself of, I’m seldom content with what I’ve created at the time. But if I step away from the keyboard and take some time to reflect, what I’ve created usually surprises me.
Give yourself a chance to breathe, and you’ll probably discover that your work takes a life of its own. It may not be what you had envisioned, but that random growth and chance gives your work an unexpected life and vitality. Learn to celebrate this, not fight it, and you can still strive for that perfection that drives your passion without hindering your own work.
The happiness we find in creating will never dim, and it’s important to remember that this is why we create, not to be perfect, but because bringing something out of our minds and into the world is a joyous process. Never let critics, or worse, your own idealism, stop you from unleashing yourself upon your work.