Readers on being perfect

Is attaining perfection impossible, or something to strive for? Here's what readers think

Our column about trying to be perfect brought in plenty of feedback. Here are some of the comments we received in e-mail and on Facebook.

"This is totally me," wrote Lisa. "Although I don't try to out-do anyone other than myself. I am my own worst enemy!"

"I kid you not, the word 'perfect' is considered a swear word in our home," wrote Leslie. "In fact, we say 'practice makes better' (not perfect). I tell my kids to strive for learning and growing from mistakes, and I try to do the same. We're all a work in progress, right?"

"I think you are sending a message that it's OK not to try your best, and I disagree," wrote Emily. "If you just strive to be 'good enough' you stay in the pack and will be average your entire life. Truly exceptional people are those who stand out. Wanting to stand out is not a bad thing. It brings about excellence."

"If you don't hold yourself to high standards, you will not succeed," wrote Ed. "Trying to be the best is how many professional athletes become great achievers. You don't win a trophy for achieving 'serenity!' "

"Love that concept about embracing serenity," wrote Jessica. "It's just so much easier said than done, I'm afraid."

"How can you say your value isn't your job title?" asked Dave in response to one of our expert's comments. "The president of a company is going to make the big bucks, not the receptionist. That is their title, therefore that is their value."

Kim said, "I always try to remember that at the end of the day, my child doesn't care what my resume has on it. He cares that I'm enjoying myself when we play on the swings."

One reader could really relate to one of our expert's tips about not being afraid to quit your job.

"I remember the day I knew I had to leave my position to spend more time with my kids and I was so terrified to tell my boss," wrote Tiffany. "I didn't sleep for days. Looking back, it's so silly how much I worried over this. It was the best thing I ever did. But at the time I thought my life was over. It was just starting, though."

"You can have and do it all, depending on your definition of 'all,' " said Lauren. "I do have it all — great marriage, two companies, a good balance of work and personal. No kids, just dogs. That's my definition of 'all.' Some people (especially women) base their definition of all on other people's values, which is how things get out of whack."

"I could really relate to your column," said Alison. "I do feel that previous generations fought for our rights as women, so if I sit at home with my kids, how is that respecting all the hard work that women did before I was born? But it's so unrealistic. The dilemma remains, and I wish more women would admit that they are struggling with this."

jweigel@tribune.com

Twitter: @jenweigel
CHICAGO

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