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Posts tagged "Perfectionism"

Geno Auriemma and the Tyranny of…Wait, Didn’t We Just Do This?

Geno Auriemma and the Tyranny of…Wait, Didn’t We Just Do This?

Geno Auriemma is the high priest of women’s college basketball. His career record is 1027-136, which, I promise you, is not a typo. I checked it a bunch of times. His University of Connecticut basketball team is the unquestioned top dog (it’s a pun…they’re the Huskies) in the sport. They get all best recruits, lose an average of about one game a season, and nearly always win the National Championship.

But Auriemma’s not satisfied. He has no peace.

Sports seems to provide the perfect crucible for this sort of impossible-to-satisfy quest. Tom Brady’s on it, and so is almost every other athlete,…

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Alfred Hitchcock: Artist of Anxiety

Alfred Hitchcock: Artist of Anxiety

Alfred Hitchcock agreed to sit down with François Truffaut for a five-day interview in August 1962. The Frenchman aimed to pick the master’s brain and snag some good tidbits for interested cinephiles. Gradually, their conversation started to flow and the product was a wonderful book. In its introduction, Truffaut calls Hitchcock an “artist of anxiety.” While he is pointing at his knack for touching on our “nighttime, metaphysical anxieties,” I found the examples of Hitchcock’s own daily worries very interesting.

Here’s Hitchcock on his anxious desire to keep everything running according to plan:

I’m full of fears and I do my best…

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Rubbing the Rabbit’s Foot: a Chronicle of Failure (with Free Quotes from Interesting People)

Rubbing the Rabbit’s Foot: a Chronicle of Failure (with Free Quotes from Interesting People)

I did everything I could to avoid posting something this week.

I slowly and meticulously inventoried all our books, even alphabetized them. I spent an afternoon hiding in the attic (read: furnace in the sky), then prolongedly squawked about how hot it was. I made a lot of pour-over coffees. I initiated long conversations about any- and everything with people who had better things to do, including the homeless people in the park across the street.

And then the worst possible thing happened, which is that my to-do list of inverted priorities dwindled down to one major item left glaring up at me from…

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"You Do Not Have to Be Good" and Other Lines That Could Save a Life

“You Do Not Have to Be Good” and Other Lines That Could Save a Life

When the box spring squeals at four in the morning and jolts me into wakefulness—or when the sleeping pill wears off too early and I am dragged just so slowly by life’s tide back onto the shore of Day—I like to pretend God (or the universe, if it’s too early to say God) is trying to turn me into Mary Oliver. Someone patient and attentive—someone who can enjoy a thousand mornings.

Of course when the real me checks the time on her iPhone, the first words on her lips are profanities and not poetry; and she has enjoyed about three in…

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Another Week Ends: Startup Cities, Dangerous Perfectionism, Marilynne Robinson, Self-Satisfied Commissars, Subconscious Songwriting, and Cosmopolitan Hope

Another Week Ends: Startup Cities, Dangerous Perfectionism, Marilynne Robinson, Self-Satisfied Commissars, Subconscious Songwriting, and Cosmopolitan Hope

Before we get going, the Houston Conference is almost here!! While we never turn anyone away–last minute walk-ins more than welcome–we need to know by Monday morning (10/13) if you are planning/hoping to dine with us. You can either pre-register on the site (through Tuesday at midnight), or send us an email at info@mbird.com so we can reserve you a plate. The food is going to be delicious!

1. First off, this is both incredibly fascinating and incredibly sad. Perhaps you’ve heard of The Downtown Project, a “start-up city” in Las Vegas founded and pioneered by Tony Hsieh, the guy behind…

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Mommyjuice and the Burden of Perfection(-ism)

Mommyjuice and the Burden of Perfection(-ism)

For as much as we talk about addiction and alcoholism on this site, you might think we’re teetotalers, or anti-alcohol or something. Anyone who has attended one of our conferences knows that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the old humblebrag about Episcopalians–“where two or three are gathered together, you will always find a fifth”–applies more than we might wish. Life is hard, and who are we to begrudge someone taking the edge off with a cold beer or a “generous pour” of Cabernet at the end of the day? And yet, and yet, as our most widespread…

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Perfect Tennis, Clever Students, and Mozartesque Semi-Colons (Plus)

Another Week Ends: Spoiled Kids, Harvard Perfectionism, KKKlan Grace, Lonergan's Lament, Negative Thinking, Mormonism, Golf Ethics, Sorkinisms, and Fall Conference Update

Another Week Ends: Spoiled Kids, Harvard Perfectionism, KKKlan Grace, Lonergan’s Lament, Negative Thinking, Mormonism, Golf Ethics, Sorkinisms, and Fall Conference Update

1. Over at The New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert surveyed the latest swath of parenting books, asking the question “Why Are American Kids So Spoiled?” Much of the article reiterates what we’ve been hearing with alarming frequency the past couple years, namely that the current “helicopter/snowplow” culture of control is backfiring, royally. It’s an honest if also fairly depressing analysis: the “performancism” epidemic being perpetuated (somewhat out of necessity) by US colleges has filtered down to the preschool level, which, combined with the hangover from the self-esteem movement and incredible advances in technology has created this weird situation where kids grow…

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Hope for Perfectionist Workaholic Control Freaks: Vulnerability and the Birthplace of Love

Hope for Perfectionist Workaholic Control Freaks: Vulnerability and the Birthplace of Love

We’ve made no secret of our love for author/researcher/social worker Brene Brown. The Washington Post published a wonderful Valentine’s Day piece of hers, “A Love Note to a Workaholic,” which represents a fresh take on her familiar theme of vulnerability and its counter-intuitive power. Although she may make a distinction between vulnerability and weakness, I’m not so sure she isn’t describing the horizontal (and universal!) meat on the vertical bones of 2 Cor 12:9 (“strength made perfect in weakness”). When she speaks of perfectionism or workaholism, for example, she is talking about two of the more insidious modern iterations of…

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The Insomnia Epidemic and Mother's (New) Little Helper

The Insomnia Epidemic and Mother’s (New) Little Helper

The NY Times recently published a worthy rejoinder to all the recent hubbub about the Mancession with a look into what has become something of an epidemic of sleeplessness among American women, “Sleep Medication: Mother’s New Little Helper.”

We’re fond on this site of using 3am mental traffic as a barometer of what’s really going on inside a person – what keeps you up, in other words – mainly because sleep (and dreaming!), as an area of our lives not subject to control, is a window into reality, who we actually are as opposed to who we want others/ourselves to think…

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The Myth of the Perfect (Christian) Parent

The Myth of the Perfect (Christian) Parent

http://www.flickr.com/photos/doug88888/4725259066/

A friend emailed this article to me from Christianity Today that I had somehow missed, about the pitfalls of being the perfect Christian parent. The themes of guilt, shame, anxiety (i.e., Law) about producing Christian children are not unfamiliar to MBird readers. Unfortunately, as the author notes, they are also recurrent themes in Christian parenting. She discusses the control that Christians parents often believe that they have over the spiritual formation of their children, and how this control is really an illusion. Here are just a few gems from the article:

I find most Christian parents at the front of…

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The 20-Ton Shield of Perfection(ism)

The 20-Ton Shield of Perfection(ism)

From cnn.com, a smart look at the subject of perfectionism by Brene Brown entitled “Want To Be Happy? Stop Trying To Be Perfect”. Although the “solutions” section definitely veers into self-help land, her discussion of the mechanics of the Law is pretty spot-on/convicting. Speaking as someone who “struggles with” this issue, I find that most people talk about it as a pseudo-badge of honor, i.e. “You’ll have to forgive him – he’s a perfectionist”, “I know she’s hard on you, but she just has really high standards” etc. It would appear to be one of those unsanctified modes of thinking…

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