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Perfection vs Excellence

Perfection vs Excellence : Which is the goal worth aspiring for?

Not everyone can achieve perfection but you can surely get excellence. Very few guys achieve perfection and those who achieve it are true genius. One of those geniuses is the guy who painted Monalisa. Da Vinci created the perfect enigmatic smile. People from all over cannot but admire his creativity. The painting still invokes praises from people and critics even today. It is the  aim of every painter worth his salt to create something even 1% as good as Monalisa.

Excellence is a journey which never ends. And that is what make it a value to aspire for. One constantly needs to raise the bar and continue to improve.

Perfection means dead end for me. And I also believe that best should not be the enemy of good.

The key story which differentiates perfection and excellence is the story of a sculptor. In a kingdom there was a famous sculptor. Once the king commissioned him to design an statue of a perfect woman. He was overjoyed. He spent one and half years and came back with a amazing beauty. But one of the ministers pointed gave a suggestion for improvement in one of the anatomical features. Though the king was fine with the existing statue, the sculptor was not! He went back and came a year later with one more statue. This time the statue was indeed more beautiful than before. But the king thought that the nose could be enhanced further. The sculptor went and came after fifteen months. This was the best statue ever – the statue literally was alive. No one had seen such a perfect beauty. Everyone including the king showered lavish praises and the king gave him the best of the riches. The king affirmed that this was the most perfect statue ever made or seen! The sculptor started crying. The king was surprised. He asked what was wrong? The sculptor said that I now have no room to improve my skill. When I got feedback on earlier two statues, I was happy as I was learning and enhancing my skills. But now I do not know what to do. I hope I do not become arrogant or lose my hunger for creation.

The other big example is of Sanjeev Kumar, the versatile Indian actor.  Sanjeev Kumar believed in continuous improvement and excellence. During his initial years, Sanjeev Kumar’s style was unique and natural. But over a period of time, he stretched his abilities and improved his skills. He beat himself and learnt new things. He became one of the most gifted actors and became known for his meditative explorations of his varied characters. He gave some of the most amazing performances.

Sanjeev gave some of the most amazing performances in Sholay, Aandhi, Mausam, Parichay, Khilona, Anhonee, Anamika, Seeta Aur Geeta and Manchali. Naya Din Nayi Raat, one masterpiece given brilliance by Sanjeev Kumar where he played nine different characters in the film. He suited the roles every bit.

Dastak gave him the first National Award as Best Actor. After winning the award, Sanjeev now had the responsibility to prove that he deserved the award and to ensure his quality of work. So he worked harder and became selective in the kind of roles he played and the films he chose. He studied the scripts and characters in detail. In spite of being a star, Sanjeev Kumar still opted for roles that were off the beaten track in films like Anubhav. Sanjeev Kumar was one of those few actor-stars to whom the role meant more than anything in the world. He was willing to play any character of any age in a film, even if it wasn’t the lead role, provided the role challenged his acting abilities, which of course were considerable. His efforts did not go in vain. He got the National Award once again for his outstanding performance in Koshish.