“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi (via BrainyQuote)
As seen in +decoration+, I would say that I have a Type-A personality. The Type-A-Type-B personality test, developed by cardiologists Friedman and Rosenman, showed the relationship between patients’ heart conditions and behavior in the waiting room. Type-A individuals are generally competitive, self-critical, impatient, aggressive multi-taskers; people with these traits usually suffer from hypertension, as well as heart disease. It makes sense because if you are constantly stressed about doing something to avoid an unproductive day, you’re most likely doing it at the cost of your health. There’s a reason why “no pain, no gain” is so relevant to life beyond the gym. Below are a few questions asked in the study
- Do you feel guilty if you use spare time to relax?
- Do you need to win in order to derive enjoyment from games and sports?
- Do you generally move, walk and eat rapidly?
- Do you often try to do more than one thing at a time?
Prior to AP Psychology, I thought that we were all generally Type-A. When I was younger, the weekends were no different from the weekdays because I went to Korean school on Saturdays and Sunday School at church on Sundays. Even today, weekends are filled with studying, blogging, or making money. I would “reward” myself at night with sleeping for seven hours, attending parties, or watching YouTube videos. However, if I didn’t finish my work, sleep was a commodity, as I couldn’t sleep, knowing that I had work to do. And yes, as you could have deduced from now, I have never missed a single day of homework since I started school in the fall of 2000.
People find my Type-A personality desirable, as many of my friends are Type-B, que será será, personality types. If I don’t have a schedule made a week in advance, I get anxious and frantic, as I need to find something to occupy myself with, while my friends make last minute plans, texting me hours before an event. However, I am appreciative of my personality type because you can’t survive New York City without being neurotic.
The reason why I think perfectionism is a dangerous disorder beyond the health repercussions is that it creates an abusive situation that you cannot escape from. Essentially, you’re in an abusive relationship with perfectionism, where it will constantly point out minor details that you must fix or else your entire life will be ruined. Even when you fulfill all these orders, you’re still not content because there will always be something else that still needs to be perfected. Therein lies the cycle of trying to please something in your mind that is never truly satisfied.
My wakeup call that this was an impractical lifestyle was when I was hospitalized for severe migraines. Lying in the emergency room bed, my mom said to remember that since the state of living is stressful, there is no need to add more stress to it. Her words forced me to examine myself and my identity as a perfectionist. I asked myself, “Do I need to be perfect all the time to still be me?” Quite frankly, the answer was no – I didn’t need to go an extra mile, adversely affecting my health, when no one went even a quarter of the way.
Today, I would still call myself a work in progress, and I know that I have further to go. So, to soothe my ego, I would like to promote Marie Kondo’s book because being neat (and maybe being a perfectionist) is the key to success. And to a degree, it’s true, as successful people start off their morning productive, and what’s better than to start your morning with a neat bed? Among everything to obsess over, making your bed is probably the easiest and least stressful thing to do, on top of most satisfying because the first thing you want to do when you go home is fall into your bed, your tidy bed.
the girl who is on her way to becoming more zen(ish)