28 October 2009

Lampooning Perfectionists - Cheeky Quote Day 28 Oct 2009

Perfection Sign Photo by TriXInc @ flickr

From Denny: Have you ever been annoyed by someone blustering about, fretting, worrying, bullying you and everyone else into joining their narrow world of perfectionism? What an unhappy place! Yet there are those who continue to insist upon forcing their rigid unrealistic dream onto the rest of us, a dream that continues to elude them. (Oh, Thank You, there is a God...)

I'm all for striving for the best in excellence but honey, there is a time when you just have to let go and let it fly out of the nest to get crushed by the criticism of the world. In time, whatever creative thing you sent out into the world often gets validated, just later. Forget about immediate gratification that the perfectionist seeks.

Can you tell I grew up about perfectionists? My reply to them? They make drugs for people like you; please use them. If you can't afford the drugs then come to my blog and start reading, religiously, the Cheeky Quote Day segments. I may even start the Cheeky Quote Day Health Care Plan. Feel free to pay in reasonably priced installments.

You need to lighten up and have some fun, especially poking fun at yourself. After all, imperfection begins at home, right? So does charity. Try being kinder to yourself and everyone else around you. The world will be a better place when people make the conscious decision to slow down, quit worrying so much, get outside their own heads and be more sociable.

Apparently, perfectionism has plagued society for generations. For hundreds of years writers have opined about the dilemma, trying to define it, dismiss it or reshape it. And, here I am, the next generation, here to repackage and market it because good classics just never go out of style, not when it comes to lampooning our own humanity. :) Most of these quotes are obvious laugh out loud while others really make you think, sometimes, in reverse, like how a crawfish moves, a skittering thought skimming your mind in unexpected ways.

Arc of Triumph in Paris Photo by Zigar @ flickr

Perfection Quotes

* Congratulations! You're not perfect! It's ridiculous to want to be perfect anyway. But then, everybody's ridiculous sometimes, except perfect people. You know what perfect is? Perfect is not eating or drinking or talking or moving a muscle or making even the teensiest mistake.

Perfect is never doing anything wrong - which means never doing anything at all. Perfect is boring! So you're not perfect! Wonderful! Have fun! Eat things that give you bad breath!

Trip over your own shoelaces! Laugh! Let somebody else laugh at you! Perfect people never do any of those things. All they do is sit around and sip weak tea and think about how perfect they are. But they're really not one-hundred-percent perfect anyway. You should see them when they get the hiccups! Phooey! Who needs 'em?

You can drink pickle juice and imitate gorillas and do silly dances and sing stupid songs and wear funny hats and be as imperfect as you please and still be a good person. Good people are hard to find nowadays. And they're a lot more fun than perfect people any day of the week. - Stephen Manes, Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days!

The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when he fills out a job application form. - Stanley J. Randall

This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfection. - Augustine

No one is perfect... that's why pencils have erasers. - Anonymous

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in.
- Leonard Cohen

To escape criticism - do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. - Elbert Hubbard

Only in grammar can you be more than perfect. - William Safire

Sometimes... when you hold out for everything, you walk away with nothing. - From the television show Ally McBeal

Photo by MigRodz @ flickr - I love Muscogy ducks. They are intelligent birds, sweet-natured, loving and friendly. Most people think them ugly; I adore them!

Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best. - Henry van Dyke

Gold cannot be pure, and people cannot be perfect. - Chinese Proverb

Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without. - Confucius, Analects

When you aim for perfection, you discover it's a moving target. - George Fisher

Once you accept the fact that you're not perfect, then you develop some confidence. - Rosalynn Carter

There are no perfect men in this world, only perfect intentions. - Pen Densham, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Mother Teresa Photo by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino23 @ flickr - Known for suffering from terrible depression and many imperfections she allievated the suffering in many people's lives and lifted their souls out of despair.

The imperfections of a man, his frailties, his faults, are just as important as his virtues. You can't separate them. They're wedded. - Henry Miller

The human story does not always unfold like a mathematical calculation on the principle that two and two make four. Sometimes in life they make five or minus three; and sometimes the blackboard topples down in the middle of the sum and leaves the class in disorder and the pedagogue with a black eye. - Winston Churchill

Always live up to your standards - by lowering them, if necessary. - Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

He who hath not a dram of folly in his mixture hath pounds of much worse matter in his composition. - Charles Lamb

Even the best needles are not sharp at both ends. - Chinese Proverb

The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light. - Matthew Arnold

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center. - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Player Piano

Unless I accept my faults I will most certainly doubt my virtues. - Hugh Prather

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Striving to better, oft we mar what's well. - William Shakespeare, King Lear, 1605 (Today in Southern Speak: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.)

Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it. - Salvador Dali

All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. - William Faulkner

A good garden may have some weeds. - Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

Orchid Photo by InkHong @ flickr

I cling to my imperfection, as the very essence of my being. - Anatole France (Jacques Anatole François Thibault), The Garden of Epicurus, 1894

He that will have a perfect brother must resign himself to remain brotherless. - Italian Proverb

You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out. - Martha Graham

Living up to ideals is like doing everyday work with your Sunday clothes on. - Ed Howe

Try as hard as we may for perfection, the net result of our labors is an amazing variety of imperfectness. We are surprised at our own versatility in being able to fail in so many different ways. - Samuel McChord Crothers

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. - Anna Quindlen

A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals a secret of hidden treasure. - Buddha

Truth is so great a perfection, that if God would render himself visible to men, he would choose light for his body and truth for his soul. - Pythagoras

Perfection is what American women expect to find in their husbands... but English women only hope to find in their butlers. - W. Somerset Maugham

Rainy Day in Paris Photo by Zigar @ flickr

Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person. – Dr. David M. Burns

They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they'd make up their minds. - Winston Churchill

I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business. - Michael J. Fox

The true perfection of man lies not in what man has, but in what man is. - Oscar Wilde

The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection. - Michelangelo

All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible. - William Faulkner

Fix your eyes on perfection and you make almost everything speed towards it. - William Ellery Channing

When nobody around you seems to measure up, it's time to check your yardstick. - Bill Lemley

The most difficult part of attaining perfection is finding something to do for an encore. – Anonymous

Does "anal-retentive" have a hyphen? - Alison Bechdel

When you aim for perfection, you discover it's a moving target. - Geoffrey F. Fisher

Everything is perfect in the universe - even your desire to improve it. - Wayne Dyer

The only nice thing about being imperfect is the joy it brings to others. - Doug Larson

Blue Morning Reflections Photo by papalars @ flickr

And the end result of success - from too much perfectionism - is irony:

Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success. - Dale Carnegie (OMG, he knows me! Who told him?)

The penalty of success is to be bored by people who used to snub you. - Nancy Astor, Viscountess, U.S.- born British politician

This is the last time that I will take part as an amateur. - Daniel Francois Esprit Auber, French composer

To be loved is to be fortunate, but to be hated is to achieve distinction. - Minna Antrim, U.S. writer

Work is a dull way to get rich.
- Neal Ascherson, British journalist and author

There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. - Douglas Adams, British writer

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them. - Alfred Adler, Austrian psychiatrist

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when you have only one idea. - Alain, French philosopher (Propos sur la religion)

*** Thanks for visiting, everyone, have a great work week! (I'm sending you out of the nest all laughed up...)

*** For more funnies: 5 Funny Chocolate Quotes, Sandra Boyntons B. B. King Video

Photo Credits

Perfection Sign Photo by TriXInc @ flickr

Arc of Triumph in Paris Photo by Zigar @ flickr

Muscogy Duck Photo by MigRodz @ flickr

Mother Teresa Photo by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino23 @ flickr

Orchid Photo by InkHong @ flickr

Rainy Day in Paris Photo by Zigar @ flickr

Blue Morning Reflections Photo by papalars @ flickr
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