Perfectionism: the devil is in the details
Last updated 7/17/2008 at Noon
Balance in life is striking a happy medium between opposites. The Greek philosopher Aristotle taught that virtue and happiness are the result of rejecting extremes. Courage, for example, is the virtue between excessive fear and excessive rashness.
Perfectionism is one of those problems where the devil is in the details. A surgeon who holds the balance of life and death in her hands needs a streak of perfectionism to get her job done, but a ninth-grader who writes the same essay 50 times trying to get it “right” is headed toward an academic experience of frustration and burnout.