Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.
— William Faulkner, US novelist (1897 – 1962)
In job interviews (a long, long time ago!), when I was asked about my weaknesses, one of my standard answers was “I’m a bit of a perfectionist”, as I felt this was almost a good attribute of my personality. But is it really? I didn’t know it at that time yet, but labelling myself a perfectionist turned out to be truer than what I initially thought it meant.
I initially thought perfection was the ultimate state to strive for. Just like the idiom, “If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” And for me by doing well, meant really doing well. But I was very wrong as we’ll discover in this book.