I have been intrigued by perfectionism. I have heard people say that I am wasting a lot of resources on getting perfect. Why do you follow perfectionism.
Read a passage recently which mentioned the obsessive efforts put in by Stanley Kubrick for each of his films. He was obsessed with every frame of his picture that he was forced to take lot of effort from his actors to make the take perfect. This ended up getting a lot of takes out of his cast. Which means a lot of work! I believe in this efforts striving for perfectionism, even if there was a continuity error, the cast would have been forced to do another take with no fault of theirs.
The passage also mentioned how Jack Nicholson (Oscar winning actor of ‘As Good as it Gets‘) remarked Kubrick, “just because you are a perfectionist does not mean you are perfect.”. What kind words to hear when someone is obsessively working hard to attain perfectionism, not for the sake of it, but to leave an everlasting mark on an industry already filled with extraordinary talent. When Jack himself is a crazy-ass talent, without creators like Kubrick we would have been left with what?
But Jack is also right in his statement, just because a person is a perfectionist doesn’t guarantee him/her to be perfect. In my opinion, a person being not perfect is the main reason for them to achieve perfectionism in the work they do. If somebody is too satisfied about themselves, they cannot/may not strive to be more perfect. Their intent on hard work becomes a lame repetition of what they do in everyday life. It is very difficult to get into all the details needed to be a perfectionist. It is a gargantuan effort.
Really, what Stanley has left us will even be realized centuries from now. The future will still be exhausted in studying the detail he has created his works with. Being a perfectionist gives us that opportunity to be everlasting.
I was said I am trying to over plan everything, and am trying harder to make things work perfectly. I believe I definitely do. I tend to over work those around me too, just to get the thing right the first time around. Sometimes when I am more satisfied with what I am doing, I definitely don’t over plan or over work. The same situation also transpires to those who work around me. But most of the time, I am a bit over worried to get everything perfect.
Why do I or Stanley for that matter do that? Its definitely the craving for being perfect. I am not sure whether Stanley had in mind that he wanted the world to appreciate what he was doing for centuries. But I believe he was doing all he did because he thought otherwise the effort would have been futile. He cannot correct himself being not perfect, but he could at least strive/try to produce/create something which is perfect. I will not say all he produced was perfect, down the line or even now there will detractors for his work/effort. But, he cannot think of any other way of doing it. He wanted it to be perfect, so he did whatever he, humanly, was able to do.
While Jack was certainly not very appreciative of all the efforts put in, even he would rather be in a Kubrick movie than any other if he can possibly be so.
I believe same kind of perfectionism, should creep in our everyday life. To be philosophical & scientific, the human animal has always striven to be perfect, that’s why Evolution happened. That’s why we are experimenting on Large Hadron Collider. That’s why we are always working and not just satisfied with what we have. It is not survival which is prime in innovating, its an effort to be a better being – or so to say be perfect. We might not achieve whatever is needed to be that perfect being, but if striving to be perfect is what we will do, we will be happier to do it till eternity.