You cannot afford to wait for perfect conditions. Goal setting is often a matter of balancing timing against available resources. Opportunities are easily lost while waiting for perfect conditions.
—Gary Ryan Blair
Perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. Neglect nothing; the most trivial action may be performed to God.
—Marie Angelique Arnauld (1591–1661) French Jansenist Nun
Nothing would be done at all if one waited until one could do it so well that no one could find fault with it.
—John Henry Newman (1801–90) British Theologian, Poet
The pursuit of perfection often impedes improvement.
—George Will (b.1941) American Columnist, Journalist, Writer
No human face is exactly the same in its lines on each side; no leaf is perfect in its lobes, and no branch in its symmetry.—All admit irregularity, as they imply change.—To banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyze vitality.—All things are better, lovelier, and more beloved for the imperfections which have been divinely appointed, that the law of human life may be effort, and the law of human judgment may be mercy.
—John Ruskin (1819–1900) English Writer, Art Critic
At the root of human responsibility is the concept of perfect, the urge to achieve it, the intelligence to find a path towards it, and the will to follow that path, if not to the end at least the distance needed to rise above individual limitations and environmental impediments.
—Aung San Suu Kyi (b.1945) Burmese Politician, Human Rights Activist
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 (1934–2016) Canadian Singer, Songwriter, Poet, Novelist
The only nice thing about being imperfect is the joy it brings to others.
—Doug Larson (1926–2017) American Columnist
I’m a perfectionist, so I can drive myself mad – and other people, too. At the same time, I think that’s one of the reasons I’m successful. Because I really care about what I do.
—Michelle Pfeiffer (b.1958) American Film Actress
Would you like me to give you a formula for … success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure… You’re thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all… You can be discouraged by failure—or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember that’s where you’ll find success. On the far side.
—Thomas J. Watson, Sr. (1874–1956) American Business Executive
Those who give too much attention to trifling things become generally incapable of great ones.
—Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613–80) French Writer
Perfection has one grave defect: it is apt to be dull.
—W. Somerset Maugham (1874–1965) British Novelist, Short-Story Writer, Playwright
Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor.
—Anne Lamott (b.1954) American Novelist
Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err. It passes my comprehension how human beings, be they ever so experienced and able, can delight in depriving other human beings of that precious right.
—Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869–1948) Indian Hindu Political leader
A primary reason people don’t do new things Is because they want to be able to do them perfectly—first time. It’s completely irrational, impractical, not workable—and yet, it’s how most people run their lives.
—John-Roger, Peter McWilliams
I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.
—Anne Lamott (b.1954) American Novelist
Perfectionism is the enemy of creation, as extreme self-solitude is the enemy of well-being.
—John Updike (1932–2009) American Novelist, Poet, Short-Story Writer
Do the right things instead of trying to do everything right.
—Peter Drucker (1909–2005) Austrian-born Management Consultant
Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable; however, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it, than those whose laziness and despondency make them give it up as unattainable.
—Earl of Chesterfield (1694–1773) English Statesman, Man of Letters
It is reasonable to have perfection in our eye that we may always advance toward it, though we know it can never be reached.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
—Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900–44) French Novelist, Aviator
Striving to better, oft we mar what’s well.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
False notes [on the piano] are human. Why does everything have to be perfect? You know, perfection itself is imperfection.
—Vladimir Horowitz (1904–89) Russian-born American Musician, Composer
This is moral perfection: to live each day as though it were the last; to be tranquil, sincere.
—Marcus Aurelius (121–180) Emperor of Rome, Stoic Philosopher
Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly.
—Robert H. Schuller (1926–2015) American Christian Televangelist, Author
Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person.
—David M. Burns
A child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong.
—Thomas Szasz (1920–2012) Hungarian-American Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst
Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.
—Michelangelo (1475–1564) Italian Painter, Sculptor, Architect, Poet, Engineer
In order to go on living one must try to escape the death involved in perfectionism.
—Hannah Arendt (1906–75) German-American Philosopher, Political Theorist
Gently remind yourself that life is okay the way it6 is, right now. In the absence of your judgment, everything would be fine. As you begin to eliminate your need for perfection in all areas of your life, you’ll begin to discover the perfection in life itself.
—Richard Carlson (1912–77) American Actor, TV Personality, Film Director, Screenwriter