Perfection. That seems like such a great, powerful word, does it not? Perfect is positive! If you get a perfect score, a perfect ten, a perfect grade, a perfect day, a perfect anything, you are absolutely set. Nothing is better than perfect, and if you have an opportunity to make something perfect, than you should absolutely do it, right? Right?
It’s funny, because perfectionism is one of the most cunning traps out there. We pour more and more effort into something that, frankly, is already good enough. The difference between 99% and 100% is incredibly small, but we often chase that 1% for hours and hours and hours, and we rarely if ever find it. It may even be impossible, but we still strive for it, sometimes unceasingly, and in the end we become nothing more than Sisyphus rolling that rock up that hill.
I have a problem with perfectionism, and nowhere is that more clear than chess. Continue reading