PERFECTION OR PASSION – HOW TO CHOOSE?
Does Passion Beat Perfection ?
I was once a semifinalist in a moot court competition in law school; a competition for oral advocacy in arguing a case. The journey there was easy for me, because my only goal was to win two rounds to qualify for the moot court society. Once I did that I was done, everything else was cherries and sprinkles. Does anyone eat sprinkles anymore? I digress. So by the time I got to the semifinals I had already won at least five rounds. That’s a lot of cherries and sprinkles. What! It was all so surreal. It was like watching yourself become a rock star from singing in the shower. Too easy. For the semifinal it started to hit me that I was pretty awesome, and I just had one more dude to knock off before the grand finale. So I prepared. I practiced. I worked on my presentation to make it flawless. I was going for perfection. And you know what happened? I was perfect. And I lost.
The judges gave us feedback on our performance after each round, so I was ready to hear what the numbskulls had to say. Is numbskulls actually a word? My spellcheck didn’t flinch so it must be. Yeesss. Do you know what the numbskulls said? “You were perfect. But kind of too perfect. A bit robotic.” Exsqueezeme? I give up. THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS TOO PERFECT IN AN ORAL ADVOCACY COMPETITION! PERFECTION IS THE GOAL! Idiot. I said all of that in my head. I felt like crying. How could I be penalized, lose to be exact, for being too perfect.
That day changed my life. That day I learned that there is a time to be perfect, and there is a time to be passionate. But how to choose? It took a few more years for me to learn that.