Joshua Paling

Perfectionism is a disease

In year 10, my art teacher stopped me.

Stop! You're a perfectionist! And perfectionism is a disease!

Having been praised for my perfectionism all my life, I dismissed her advice. It took more than a decade for me to realise just how right she was.

Perfectionism exists in maths tests and multiple choice comprehensions. It doesn’t exist in real life, and it certainly doesn’t exist in business or software. "Perfect" is the good-enough trade off between countless goals pulling in different directions.

In real life, perfectionism is a disease.