From Atul Gawande’s Complications: No matter what measures are taken, doctors will sometimes falter, and it isn’t reasonable to ask that we achieve perfection. What is reasonable is to ask that we never cease to aim for it.
This is precisely what I mean when I say that perfection is obtained in the process. We can never be or have perfection unless some perfect outside agent provides us a means to be or have so. The most perfect we can ever be on our own is to first know what is perfect. Then after we know what is perfect, we can only vainly dig our fingers into the earth and helplessly crawl toward it. Perfection is a joint effort. It cannot be achieved by an individual.
I highly recommend Atul Gawande’s Complications. His second book, Better, is servicable, but, in my opinion, is in no compare with Complications. If you are an aspiring physician, the stories are gripping; if you possess no avarice for medicine, the book still satisfies as a read. From any perspective, Gawande’s notes and thoughts are valuable and will easily translate across many, if not all, occupations and endeavours.
Perfection is such a process, and it takes such work to achieve it. If perfection were easier to get, then everyone would be perfect!