What is the difference between constantly trying to do what is right and being a perfectionist?
It all depends on what you mean by 'right'. Are you talking about accuracy, something to do with 'a job done right first time', or do you mean 'right' as in ethically?
If it's a case of the former, searching for a way of doing something right isn't necessarily 'perfectionism' on its own. When you do a thorough job and then 'dot the i's and cross the t's that's going on for perfectionism. When you dot the i's, cross the t's AND add 'frills' - although not literally - that's perfectionism. HOWEVER, it's forgivable if you're a finescale modeller (you know, the type that counts the rivets and gets into a huff if someone notices there's one missing).
If you're talking about the latter, then that's between you and your conscience.
that is an easy question. Constantly trying to do what is right implies an effort being made to always be right. Living as a perfect person (whether it is only in your mind, or not, doesn't matter) because believing you are a perfectionist, or a perfect person, takes no effort at all.
In simplicity; combing your hair to look your best would be doing it right.
Endlessly going over and over to insure that every hair lays in perfect position is being a perfectionist.
The former is a good thing that latter is a waste of time and actually detracts from your happiness.
You can expand this concept to any arena of life.
Of course there are times when being a perfectionist is a good thing IE; when building something where the slightest flaw matters, we call that professionalism.
It all depends of what you are referring to, such as people, relationships, situations, or following directions, building something w/tools, etc. Doing something right, is doing it correctly or ethically, as in the general rule of what is acceptable in our society or in your personal preference. Everyone has their own degree of what is considered right. Being a perfectionist at anything is going above and beyond of what is expected in a normal sense. There are things that do require perfection...but doing it constantly for anything, can be compulsive behavior and tiring to yourself and others. To sum it up...constantly doing the right thing is a great virtue and should be done with pleasure, but constantly being a perfectionist can be time consuming and annoying to others if overdone. It is best to find the balance of both.
The one that tries to do right will be pleased with his accomplishments from time to time.
The perfectionist will never be pleased because he will never succeed.
Doing the "right thing" denotes ethics and concern for other people's well being. Perfectionists are focused on the way things are done...usually a mundane task without moral implications. They are a perfectionist just because they know the task has to be done a certain way.
For example, an abortion doctor might be a perfectionist in the way they carry out the procedure, while a pro-life advocate would still view them as "not doing the right thing."
Thank you all for such great perspectives, which have been very helpful in my research. Hope to get some more responses too.
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