"The pleasure we found in working together made us exceptionally patient; it is much easier to strive for perfection when you are never bored."
Daniel Kahneman (1934–), Israeli-US psychologist
On working with his collaborator Amos Tversky (1937–96)
Source: Thinking, Fast and Slow (2011)
"The delusion that you're perfect—or that if you just do the right thing, things will always work out OK—makes you resistant to change and fearful of failure … you'd rather not discover that you're imperfect, that maybe what you were doing was wrong. The more people can go through those discoveries the better."
Esther Dyson (1951–), US knowledge entrepreneur and government adviser
Source: Interview, Reason Magazine (November 1996)
"Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life … perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it."
Anne Lamott (1954–), US novelist and author
Source: Bird by Bird (1994)
"When you consider something ideal, you lose the opportunity to improve it."
Shoji Shiba (1933–), Japanese academic and author
Source: Quoted in “Toyota’s Fresh Look at JIT [Just-In-Time],” Financial Times (London) (September 10, 1990)
"Perfection can be a fetish."
Bernard Leach (1887–1979), British potter
Source: The Potter’s Challenge (1976)
"Perfect numbers, like perfect people, are very rare."
René Descartes (1596–1650), French philosopher and mathematician
Source: Quoted in Mathematical Circles Squared (H. Eves, 1972)
"An environment which calls for perfection is not likely to be easy. But aiming for it is always good for progress."
Thomas J. Watson, Jr (1914–1993), US president of IBM and ambassador to the Soviet Union
Source: A Business and Its Beliefs (1963)
"The indefatigable pursuit of an unattainable perfection … is what alone gives a meaning to our life on this unavailing star."
Logan Pearsall Smith (1865–1946), British essayist and critic
Source: “Art and Letters,” Afterthoughts (1931)
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