Perfection: Working towards the unattainable goal | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 17, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:24 AM, September 17, 2020

Perfection: Working towards the unattainable goal

Proving ourselves or trying to find our place in the world is second nature to some of us millennials. We exist at a time, where competition has never been higher and nearly everyone around us is an overachiever. We're surrounded by examples of success and perfection. This leaves some of us constantly striving for more.

We're constantly tossed around in this tide that we're trying to keep up with all the time. By sixteen we're expected to know what we want to do with our lives. By eighteen, we're expected to already start building experience in workplaces. By the time we're in our twenties? We're supposed to know how to do everything, to be the best versions of ourselves. We're expected to know how to balance work, social life, education, family life, all while "working on ourselves".

I myself have recently come to the realisation that everything you're working towards? It's all a glorified lie.

It's this promise of a perfect image, of this ideal life that we're made to believe we need to work towards. And the ideal life keeps changing.

First, you work towards being financially independent. Get any job you find, and work your butt off. Then? Well, now you have to get yourself a car. Work for that promotion. And then the perfect partner. Once you've done that, you're expected to have the perfect relationship; to be happy at all times of the day. You have to have social gatherings and be the stand-up guy/girl that you are. Entertain, make them laugh. Go home, read a self-development book that'll help you be an even better man/woman.

No matter how much you achieve or earn, you will never be living your ideal life. Because your ideal life keeps shifting.

As a result, we keep taking on work. It'll help us right? We'll either learn something from it or we'll make something off it. We have nothing to lose. Right?

Sure. You'll learn something, you'll make something. However, in the process, you'll lose time, and the ability to be young while you can.

You don't have to constantly work on benefits. Sometimes, you just do things because you want to. Because it'll make you happy, in that moment. Not because of some future that you may or may not have.

Of course, I'm not telling you to stop chasing your dreams. Chasing dreams, working on things you're truly passionate about is important. Because it's what makes you happy. At the risk of sounding ignorant, I want to remind you that while I understand most of us don't have the privilege to drop everything and chase our dreams, it's still something worth investing time in. It's important to allocate that time to doing something you enjoy. And not just working towards a better future, set by the society's idea of what you should be.

What I'm trying to say is, stop working towards being happy all the time, because that would mean that you're not happy right now. Stop taking on bucket loads of work so you can have a great future. Take on what you need to, and remember to leave time for yourself.

The world is a constantly buzzing place, with everyone rushing to get somewhere. And I urge you not to get lost in that white noise and constant hustle.

Syeda Erum Noor is dangerously oblivious and has no sense of time. Send help at

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