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Personal growth: Would you like to be a perfect person? May 27, 2014

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Concept of personal development.
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There is an old maxim that we might want to apply to our personal growth and development efforts.

Namely, “Be careful of what you wish for.”

Theoretically, the concept of personal growth or self-improvement implies that we are working towards a goal of ultimately achieving a perfect ideal human conduct for ourselves.

But what would becoming a perfect human being involve?

Would we really want our self-actualization work to result in perfection?

Or, in becoming perfect, would we lose something precious in the process?

Eric Hoffer has some interesting observations on this question:

“Nature attains perfection, but man never does. There is a perfect ant, a perfect bee, but man is perpetually unfinished…It is this incurable unfinishedness which sets man apart from other living things. For in the attempt to finish himself, man becomes a creator…The incurable unfinishedness keeps man perpetually immature, perpetually capable of learning and growing.”

“There is something unhuman about perfection…It is a paradox that, although the striving to mastery a skill is supremely human, the total mastery of a skill approaches the nonhuman. They who would make man perfect end up by dehumanizing him.” (1)

(1) Eric Hoffer, Reflections on the Human Condition