Social Work Programs

October 16, 2012

Quotes on Perfection

Filed under: what is perfection — Tags: — admin @ 12:53 pm

Several clients I saw last week at the clinic spoke about their inner sense of “not being good enough”. We explored self-criticism and if the inner assumption revolves around the concept of perfection. Here are some quotes to ponder:

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

Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.
? Immanuel Kant

The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Certain flaws are necessary for the whole. It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks.
-Goethe

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

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

Faultily faultless, icily regular, splendidly null, dead perfection; no more.
-Alfred, Lord Tennyson Quotes

I don’t like these cold, precise, perfect people who, in order not to speak wrong, never speak at all, and in order not to do wrong, never do anything.
-Henry Ward Beecher

We all carry within us our places of exile, our crimes, and our ravages. But our task is not to unleash them on the world; it is to fight them in ourselves and in others.
-Albert Camus

The pursuit of perfection often impedes improvement.
-George Will

What are some ways to reflect these various perspectives?


Here are some questions that came to me as I studied them:

1) Camus talks about fighting one’s own inner darkness. Goethe and St. Augustine speak about examining one’s limitations. Is there a difference between honest self-inquiry for self-improvement versus meeting a social standard of attaining perfection?

2) Saint-Exupéry’s quote about taking away versus adding has a zen-like quality to it. Is everything we think of doing based on unconscious motives or ego-oriented assumptions? Are we better off peeling away what we observe that is a limitation than trying to erect something?

3) Is Dyer’s quote about everything being perfect a different level of viewing this whole dilemma?

You can find past quotes here:

Quotes On Depression

Quotes On Money Addiction

Quotes on Health

Quotes on Work

Famous Quotes with Questions for Kindle

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