Perfection, geeks, fans

The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good.  We hear this saying a lot, probably to the point that we miss the lesson – if you seek perfection you'll likely fail, and miss the chance to do things that are good.

We also are very familiar with people who lie to themselves and others about who they are.  They conceal interests, religious affiliations, sexual orientations, etc.  We know such people – or are such people – and know they're miserable.

You can't hide from yourself.  The perfect is the enemy of the good.  These two things go together in the hard fact that you can't be perfect – especially someone else's idea of perfect.

If you're a fanboy, fangirl, geek, etc. are you spending your time trying not to be these things to people – especially in your job and career?

Are you trying to hide that interest in anime so there aren't any posters in your drab cubicle?  Do you not talk sports with the guys at the lab since they'll think you're ignorant?  Do you fear your clients won't accept your obsession with old pulp novels?

Then you're trying to be perfect, and you're lying to yourself.  Frankly, you're probably not happy unless you're one of the fans whose enthusiasms are happily separate from life as they're just blowing off steam.

If you try to be perfect to others, you will fail.  Trying not to be yourself will fail.  You will be miserable, you won't be yourself – and you'll be worse at your job because you're unhappy, worse in running your business, worse in clients.

You're not going to outrun your geekery.  It will only weaken you because you'll spend a whole lot of time and energy not being you.

Instead find ways to embrace it and communicate with people.  Put up that poster and see what people say.  Talk about your interests – and listen to other people's.  Find common ground with others – because you can bet that they'd like to share their interests too.

Just don't run away from your fandom.  You won't be happy.

– Steven Savage