Tag Archives: Perfection

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.

Life really is a blur — at least it is for me. When I reflect and remember, I find myself lumping all of my memories into one category: The past. I turned 16 — in the past. I barely earned my driver’s license — in the past. I lived with my dad — in the past. Everything is just lumped together.

I’m really big on the whole realization of time. One of my friends at Marquette, Zhen (we call him Z), said something really profound at our program’s retreat last weekend. He suggested that most of us will live to about 100 years old. Given that, most freshmen in college have already lived 18% of their lives. Isn’t that a shocking way of looking at life? I’m sure many people say this, and I do too: There is not enough time.

Time is important. Have we established that? Especially at the university level of education, time becomes crucial. It is vital. If you can manage time, you can succeed in college. It’s that simple. But why is it so hard? Why is human nature inclined to procrastinate? ((Perhaps it isn’t human nature, but most of the people I know, including myself, tend to procrastinate.))

I’m not really sure. I don’t really have any thoughts on that. If time is so precious, it’s absurd to waste it. But then, if love is so precious, it’s absurd to toss it around. Perhaps there’s no real understanding as to why we waste time; perhaps the real substance of the issue is that we understand that it’s unproductive. Do we leave it at that? By no means! We remedy.

Plan your hours accordingly. After my math class ended at 3:00 yesterday, I went to the Library Reserves and worked through the thermochemistry practice problems in an hour. I felt so good. I was so productive. I was on a jet plane, and didn’t know when I was going to be back again. I need to start working my hours out like that.

Similarly related, I had Bible study today. We talked about quiet times with God, and how to include those quiet times in our schedule. Originally, I had always done quiet times at night; sometimes, if I was really ambitious, I would have that quiet time in the morning. But since I’ve started college, my nights have been filled with assignments, and I’ve been sheepishly tired. The trend has been skipping the devotional, skipping the Bible, and just laying in my bed and praying myself to sleep. That is unhealthy.

At Bible study, we had a chance to formulate plans for our quiet time in college. I am so excited to start using my new plan. After my first class everyday, and after I eat breakfast/brunch, I will have quiet time in my dorm. It’s going to be awesome. I’m utilizing my hours.

Here’s an entirely new subject: error. In my English class there is a traditional clock with a second-hand. I dozed off and started to count seconds. That’s when I questioned humanity’s ability to count a perfect second — I mean perfect. Perfect with an infinite amount of significant figures, and each decimal place until infinity would be 0: 1.00000 and so forth. Why aren’t we able to do that? Why isn’t perfection attainable?

Perfection is a huge part of my personal philosophy. For one of my classes, the author of the book I’m assigned to read, Let Your Life Speak, discoursed a bit on perfection. It’s an interesting view point. I’ll blog later about my perfectionist philosophy; I have a feeling it will be very in-depth.