Rav Avigdor Miller on How to be Imperfect

print

Q: 
How does one curb the middah of perfectionism that’s gotten out of hand?

A:
Sometimes people are too medakdek in gasmiyus’dike things, they feel that things have to be just so. And you must know that it is like any other weakness or middah ra’ah that requires a certain amount of fortitude to overcome. You work on one thing at a time, consistently, and you make steps forward.

You can train yourself to overcome your middah of being a perfectionist by making up your mind that you’re going to neglect one thing. Just one thing won’t be perfect. Let’s say it’s always bothering you about many things. So today, neglect one thing. Harden your heart and don’t bother about it. Just let it be. So now, in one thing you’re not a perfectionist anymore. That’s already a good step in the right direction.

The next day, choose another thing, and stop being a perfectionist in that one thing. Let that second thing slide as well. Just let it be. Now you already have two things that you let go of. Two things! That’s already a big step! After a while you have four or five, even six things that you’re not a perfectionist in; it’s contagious and it will spread to other things too.
TAPE # E-116