Perfection V Excellence…Which one do you strive for?

Perfection V Excellence…Which one do you strive for?

PSYCHOLOGY TODAY has a useful article on a very focal topic for sports – including cue sports – perfection versus excellence.

The article takes a look at the key aspects of both and analyses them in detail with a fine-tooth comb.

To excel at something does not necessarily mean you’re perfect at it. 

In snooker…

There are players who strive for perfection. Even the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, whom SnookerZone would call a “perfectionist” will not settle for just excellence. He wants perfection. He wants 100% perfection.

However, is it possible to achieve perfection in anything? Or is just our brain’s perceived perception of perfection?

Players who strive for perfection are very self-critical and generally evaluative in their own selves. Perfectionists often dwell on their mistakes a bit more than those who want to achieve just excellence.

As we have said earlier – being excellent at something does not mean you’re perfect.

The article said this: Excellence strivers seek excellence as their goal, but perfection strivers pursue excellence only as a point on their path to perfection.

This drill as an example…

For example, in this drill, will you settle for an excellent high break of say, 50, or are you striving for the perfect red black 15 times?

The first achievable goal is actually excellent!

In short, excellence is just not good enough for perfectionists.

Maybe you’re a player who is seeking the perfect cue action in snooker? The perfect game of snooker. The perfect win in snooker?

Perhaps aligning the goal posts and simply striving to be “excellent” at the game rather than trying to “find” the perfection in it is the key to being happier on the table?

We all want to strive to be excellent. But maybe sometimes our idea of what excellent is to us clouds our progress.

Snooker is just a tough game, and even just the 1% could be considered “excellent progress.”

Why can’t we just be happy with that?

Which one are you?

What do you think? Leave a comment if you’re either a perfectionist at your chosen sport or just strive to be excellent, which comes in many forms at many standards!



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Chris Gaynor

Chris Gaynor is a writer with 10 years' experience writing for the web. He loves snooker, CSI and loves cycling off tiramisu!