Some people go to amazing lengths in their pursuit of perfection. Just look at any top athlete or sports person and ask them about their training routines and you will be totally amazed by the extent of their single mindedness and dedication.
It is interesting to also note that parents can also play a major role in grooming their kids to strive for perfection. Just think how Serena and Venus Williams’ father placed their feet upon a particular pathway and encouraged them to progress along it. Look too at the parents influence in Andre Agassi and Tiger Woods careers. Considering these latter two people we can clearly see the lengths to which their dads shaped their pursuit of perfection.
Agassi’s father went so far as to build a stronger and faster ball machine than any others on the market and made his son spend endless hours returning the balls which this “dragon” hurled towards his feet. It is no wonder that he became known as the strongest returner of serves in tennis. Practice does indeed make perfect…or at least more perfect than those who have not gone to the trouble to undertake such a demanding regime.
And Tiger Woods was subjected to many hours of practice during which time his father would do his best to distract or to irritate him. He would cough or make noises at the most inopportune times so as to immunize Tiger against such disruptions whilst teeing off during major golf tournaments. His father clearly recognized that mental toughness is an essential element in golf; good golf is, as the professionals agree, 90% in the mind.
One cannot help but wonder if these young boys felt that they had much choice in how they spent those hours of youth. This also leads to the question of whether they enjoyed this one-minded pursuit of perfection and how it affected them in other ways. Andre Agassi’s biography is an interesting read and illuminates us as to the impact upon his emotional world. And perhaps Tiger’s dalliances of recent years have something to do with the imbalance which was inevitably felt during those years of growing-up.
There is a flip side to every coin. If you place your main focus and efforts upon just one single goal and strive for perfection in that area, it is inevitable that something else has to give. Ultimately there are other areas of life which will eventually require focus and attention to enable one to have a feeling of balance and stability. What is great is that with a little bit of guidance you can learn to take the mental strengths learned in one arena and then apply them in other areas.
Perfection is a funny thing. The more you work towards it, the more elusive it becomes. There is no such thing as perfection. Every time one person breaks a record, several more are close to follow at your heels and then they overtake you. What you can do, and should do, is simply strive to do your best.
There is a lot of evidence to show that the desire for perfection is one of the biggest causes of people quitting (not that this applies to Agassi or Tiger, I hasten to add). If what you seek is perfection you will never achieve a feeling of success. You will never be satisfied and thus motivation withers and wanes. In learning to stop being a perfectionist and instead focus your attention upon doing your best, you provide yourself with a clear goal and allow yourself to gain a feeling of achievement and satisfaction.
Roseanna Leaton, specialist in hypnotherapy mp3s to help to create balance in your life.
P.S. You can grab a free hypnosis mp3 from my website if you like.