per·fec·tion (pərˈfekSH(ə)n) : the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects
A lot of people say, “That was a perfect game, that was a perfect day, that was a perfect punch or kick.” But what is perfection, anyway? The term “Kung Fu” in and of itself denotes perfection. If you use “Kung Fu” literally the way it’s translated, it means that someone has a high proficiency of skill in whatever they’re doing. But truth be told, perfection doesn’t exist.
I always like to say, as soon as you come close to what you perceive perfection to be, it somehow moves forward, and you’re never really able to attain it. This is especially true when you speak to people that are striving in any kind of pursuit that requires “kung fu,” be it a sports player, a musician, an artist, a scientist, or a doctor. Anyone who has dedicated a lifetime to the pursuit of their art form, trade or work understands that perfection is not real. It’s a state of mind. As we reach what we perceive to be the so-called pinnacle of “perfection” in whatever we’re doing, it eludes us again. This is the way it’s supposed to be.
Perfection is set in front of you as a goal to strive for, and as your expectation rises so does the level of perfection. Perfection is a line in the sand, and when you cross it, another line in the sand appears. In between the crossing of that first line and seeing there’s another one, your expectations and abilities change. Your expectation rises, therefor you have to strive harder. This pushes your ability forward. As your ability becomes greater, your expectation of what perfection is rises, and this becomes a positive way of propelling yourself forward. If played right, the concept of perfection can help you go beyond what you thought you were capable of and what you thought was possible.
But be careful; the concept of perfection is actually a double-edged sword. It cuts both ways, it can cut on the positive or negative, depending on how you look at it. People misuse the concept of perfection by putting it on a lofty pedestal that they feel they’ll never be able to reach. The concept becomes a negative when people feel like they’ll never be able to attain it. That mental statement in and of itself already destroys you. The concept of perfection was never meant to be like this in my view.
In any pursuit that requires Kung Fu, you’re constantly striving to perfect your concept, your technique and your skill level. Even if you’ve attained a certain level of proficiency that you perceive to be perfection, there’s still more to learn. Perfection is an internal struggle. It’s not you against the world, it’s you against you.
As you train in Kung Fu, your concept of perfection changes over time. In the beginning, we all have heroes that we think are perfect. As I continue to grow, I see that the things and people I thought were perfect start to fade away. As you train, you grow beyond your preset concept of what “perfect” was. We all encounter this in the road of our training. Initially, maybe your ego perceived yourself to be at a certain level of perfection, but in order to get to the real heart of what perfection is your ego has to be set aside. It only inhibits your ability to grow beyond yourself. And by growing beyond yourself and the confines of what you perceive as being perfect, you can begin to touch something else.
So as we said in the beginning, What is perfection? The dictionary says it is the “state or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.” It’s the word “free” that is the key. You must be free of your own ego, free of your own insecurity. In order to attain perfection in any endeavor we have to put ourselves aside. You have to separate yourself from yourself in order to gain insight into yourself. You have to look at things anew, unfettered by things you’ve been taught and those insecurities that we carry.
Perfection can either be used for positive enhancement and propelling oneself beyond what they perceive they can grow into, or it becomes a stumbling block, a stifling point, a point of stagnation. All great pursuits have this struggle. In the pursuit of perfection, we must always remember and understand that there is no such thing as perfection, and only utilize it as a focal point to bring us to the next level. The elusive nature of the concept of perfection is what keeps us striving and moving forward. Never give up.
As I conclude my blog and read it again, and re-read it again, I truly understand that there’s nothing perfect, including this blog!