Perfectionists and Optimalists

In a book by Tal Ben-Shahar “The Pursuit of Perfect” describes Optimalists and Perfectionists.

On Perfectionists…

“Perfectionists reject everything that deviates from their flawless, faultless idea vision, and as a result they suffer whenever they do not meet their own unrealistic standards.” (Tal Ben-Shahar)

On Optimalists…

“Optimalists tend to be benefit finders – the sort of people who find the silver lining in the dark cloud…who look on the bright side of life…With a knack for turning setbacks into opportunities, the Optimalist goes through life with an overall sense of optimism.” (Tal Ben-Shahar)

Now here’s where it get’s more interesting.

Tal shares its not a 24/7 thing through this personal account…

“Matt, the student who jokingly threatened to report me to his roommate if he saw me unhappy, thought that a person teaching happiness should radiate joy 24-7. Matt’s idea was not only unrealistic, it was in fact a recipe for unhappiness.” (Tal Ben-Shahar)


“Perfectionism and optimalism are not distinct ways of being, an either – or choice, but rather they coexist in each person. And while we can move from perfectionism toward optimalism, we never fully leave perfectionism behind and never fully reach optimalism ahead. The optimalism ideal is not a distant shore to be reached but a distant star that guides us and can never be reached. As Carl Rogers, pointed out, ‘The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.” (Tal Ben-Shahar)



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