Recently, I heard a professional photographer of some fame and skill use the quote: “strive for perfection, settle for excellence” in regard to serious photography. I thought it was pretty good advice. You can’t expect to be perfect but you can sure try.
Many people use a variation of that phrase in motivational speeches. According to some accounts, Vince Lambardi is its originator since he is quoted widely as saying:
” Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence. “
Variations of the same quote has been attributed to everyone from Walt Disney to Sir Lawrence Olivier (“Striving for perfection is the greatest stopper there is. You’ll be afraid you can’t achieve it. … It’s your excuse to yourself for not doing anything. Instead, strive for excellence, doing your best.“)
Me, I strive for any small measure of perfection, accept pretty good as a nice start, and one day, hope to achieve excellence. My belief as far as my photography goes: “keep at it all the time, refine your vision, enjoy yourself and when all else fails, take a nap.”