I read this book in an effort to branch out and read something different than my usual choices of fiction, philosophy and psychology textbooks. I was expecting the book to be sort of "self-helpy" and honestly just hoped I would learn at least one helpful nugget of information. However, it turned out to be right up my alley and delivered countless nuggets of illumination. Tal Ben-Shahar delivers an impressive survey of perfectionism in a way that is scientific and engaging and as a result the book connects on a deeply personal level mentally and emotionally. He systematically outlines both the root causes and the wide range of effects of the perfectionist mindset. He covers work ethic, self regard and ways of viewing personal success and failure- but he also examines perfectionism's wider implications. Ben-Shahar traces perfectionism back to Plato, contrasts him with Aristotle, and proceeds to outline perfectionism's effects in the realms of education, politics and moral philosophy. He also covers perfectionism with regard to parenting and aging. While drawing on expert research, historical lessons, and personal stories, the author breaks downs the dichotomy between the driven overachiever and the lazy slacker. I could not recommend this book more! This is the most life-changing thing I have read in 3 years. The reader wasn't great, but the book was so good, it didn't really matter.
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