My Struggle With Perfection
This past Shabbat we took a group of JICNY people to Riverdale, beautiful and warm community 15 minutes north of the Upper West Side of Manhattan. One of the inspirational Rabbi’s in the community Avi Weiss spoke to our group about “perfection vs excellence”. He connected the theme of the sefirat ha-omer – days of counting between Pesach and Shavout. We count 49 days between Pesach and Shavuot. Forty-nine is seven times seven where seven represents the maximum human effort which is by definition less than perfect. Only when Hashem becomes involved represented by the 50th day – Shavuot when we received the Torah can we push beyond the 49 because Hashem is the only true perfection.
His message to the singles was “Look for an excellent relationship not a perfect one – perfection is not possible so don’t waste your time looking for it.”
In my work I always apply this philosophy about excellence. Striving for perfection is infinite and has decreasing rewards. You can spend forever making the last 5 percent of a project perfect.
After the talk we retired to the sunny terrace and we were discussing the Rabbi’s wise words. I had a moment when I realized that in my personal life I need to refocus. I am so busy living the perfect life – out every night, taking advantage of all Manhattan offers, traveling, being super mom, entrepreneur, community leader, a special needs activist. I have an endless to do list to keep my world perfect.
Maybe just maybe I can have an excellent life……
Originally published: April 29, 2013
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