An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





It is only imperfection that complains of what is imperfect. The more perfect we are the more gentle and quiet we become towards the defects of others.


Joseph Addison (1672-1719, British essayist, poet, statesman)


The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides. Accept life, and you must accept regret.


Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881, Swiss philosopher, poet, critic)


Perfection is out of the question.


Anne Archer (American actress)


Perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.


Angelique Arnauld (1591–1661, French monastic reformer)


I don't like these cold, precise, perfect people who, in order not to speak wrong, never speak at all, and in order not to do wrong, never do anything.


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


One must not hold one's self so divine as to be unwilling occasionally to make improvements in one's creations.


Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827, German composer)


If a man should happen to reach perfection in this world, he would have to die immediately to enjoy himself.


Josh Billings (1815-1885, American humorist, lecturer)


Imperfection clings to a person, and if they wait till they are brushed off entirely, they would spin for ever on their axis, advancing nowhere.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


The condition of the most passionate enthusiast is to be preferred over the individual who, because of the fear of making a mistake, won't in the end affirm or deny anything.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


Fix your eyes on perfection and you make almost everything speed towards it.


William Ellery Channing (1780-1842, American Unitarian minister, author)


Perfect works are rare, because they must be produced at the happy moment when taste and genius unite; and this rare conjuncture, like that of certain planets, appears to occur only after the revolution of several cycles, and only lasts for an instant.


Vicomte De Chateaubriand (1768-1848, French politician, writer)


Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable. However, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it than those whose laziness and despondency make them give it up as unattainable.


Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield (1694-1773, British statesman, author)


The maxim "Nothing avails but perfection" may be spelled "Paralysis."


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


We never taste happiness in perfection, our most fortunate successes are mixed with sadness.


Pierre Corneille (1606-1684, French dramatist)


The essence of man is imperfection.


Norman Cousins (1915-1990, American editor, humanitarian, author)


Have no fear of perfection -- you'll never reach it.


Salvador Dali (1904-1989, Spanish painter)


The more perfect a thing is, the more susceptible to good and bad treatment it is.


Alighieri, Dante (1265-1321, Italian philosopher, poet)


The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing.


Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863, French artist)


He has not a single redeeming defect.


Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881, British statesman, Prime Minister)


Perfection never exists in reality, but only in our dreams.


Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs


Perfection never exists in reality, but only in our dreams.


Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs


Everything is perfect in the universe -- even your desire to improve it.


Wayne Dyer (1940-, American  psychotherapist, author, lecturer)

Author's website:


One that desires to excel should endeavor in those things that are in themselves most excellent.


Epictetus (50-138, Phrygian philosopher)


Every time, all the time, I'm a perfectionist. I feel I should never lose.


Chris Evert (1954-, American tennis player)


As machines become more and more efficient and perfect, so it will become clear that imperfection is the greatness of man.


Ernst Fischer (1899-1972, Austrian editor, poet, critic)


When you aim for perfection, you discover it's a moving target.


Geoffrey F. Fisher (1887-1972, British archbishop of Canterbury)


Inspirations never go in for long engagements; they demand immediate marriage to action.


Brendan Francis


I don't like a man to be too efficient. He's likely to be not human enough.


Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965, Austrian-born American law teacher, judge)


What, after all, is a halo? It's only one more thing to keep clean.


Christopher Fry (1907-, British playwright)


Perfect order is the forerunner of perfect horror.


Carlos Fuentes (1928-, Mexican novelist, short-story writer)


A perfect poem is impossible. Once it has been written, the world would end.


Robert Graves (1895-1985, British poet, novelist)


No one can be right all of the time, but it helps to be right most of the time.


Robert Half (American businessman, founder of Robert Half & Associates)


Perfection is the child of time.


Joseph Hall (1574-1656, British clergyman, writer)


You can spend a lifetime, and, if you're honest with yourself, never once was your work perfect.


Charlton Heston (1924-, American actor)


Perfectionism is a dangerous state of mind in an imperfect world.


Robert S. Hillyer


The perfect normal person is rare in our civilization.


Karen Horney (1885-1952, American psychiatrist)


Waiting until everything is perfect before making a move is like waiting to start a trip until all the traffic lights are green.


Karen Ireland


God doesn't make orange juice, God makes oranges.


Jesse Jackson (1941-, American clergyman, Civil Rights leader)


A concern with the perfectibility of mankind is always a symptom of thwarted or perverted development.


Hugh Kingsmill


The only nice thing about being imperfect is the joy it brings to others.


Doug Larson


When everything has to be right, something isn't.


Stanislaw J. Lec (1909-1966, Polish writer)


American women expect to find in their husbands a perfection that English women only hope to find in their butlers.


W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965, British novelist, playwright)


Perfection has one grave defect. It is apt to be dull.


W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965, British novelist, playwright)


Perfection is a trifle dull. It is not the least of life's ironies that this, which we all aim at, is better not quite achieved.


W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965, British novelist, playwright)


Perfection does not exist. To understand this is the triumph of human intelligence; to expect to possess it is the most dangerous kind of madness.


Alfred De Musset


Nothing would be done at all if one waited until one could do it so well that no one could find fault with it.


John Henry Newman (1801-1890, British religious leader, prelate, writer)


The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty, that one does not push asceticism to the point where it makes friendly intercourse impossible, and that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life, which is the inevitable price of fastening one's love upon other human individuals.


George Orwell (1903-1950, British author, "Animal Farm")


Angels can do no better.


K. Panuthos


His only fault is that he has no fault.


Pliny The Elder (c.23-79, Roman neophatonist)


I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active -- not more happy -- nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.


Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1845, American poet, critic, short-story writer)


I like a man with faults, especially when he knows it. To err is human -- I'm uncomfortable around gods.


Hugh Prather


Perfectionism is slow death.


Hugh Prather


There are two kinds of perfect people: those who are dead, and those who have not been born yet.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


He is lifeless that is faultless.


English Proverb (Sayings of British origin)


No barber shaves so close but another finds his work.


English Proverb (Sayings of British origin)


Nobody is perfect.


Palestine Proverb


If you search for a faultless woman, you will remain a bachelor.


Turkish Proverb (Sayings of Turkish origin)


Perfection anywhere is very rare.


Yiddish Proverb (Sayings of Yiddish origin)


The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when he fills out a job application form.


Stanely J. Randall


No good work whatever can be perfect, and the demand for perfection is always a sign of a misunderstanding of the ends of art.


John Ruskin (1819-1900, British critic, social theorist)


The life of the spirit is centrally and essentially a life of action. Spirituality is something done, not merely something believed, or known or experienced.


Mary McDermott Shideler


He that leaveth nothing to chance will do few things ill, but he will do very few things.


George Savile


Measure not by the scale of perfection the meager product of reality.


Johann Friedrich Von Schiller (1759-1805, German dramatist, poet, historian)


Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


If there was nothing wrong in the world there wouldn't be anything for us to do.


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Irish-born British dramatist)


The indefatigable pursuit of an unattainable perfection -- even though nothing more than the pounding of an old piano -- is what alone gives a meaning to our life on this unavailing star.


Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946, Anglo-American essayist, aphorist)


All excellent things are as difficult as they are rare.


Baruch Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677, Dutch philosopher and theologian)


It is the function of perfection to make one know one's imperfection.


St. Augustine (354-430, Numidian-born bishop of Hippo, theologian)


This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections.


St. Augustine (354-430, Numidian-born bishop of Hippo, theologian)


Finality is death. Perfection is finality. Nothing is perfect. There are lumps in it, said the Philosopher.


James Stephens (1882-1950, Irish poet, author)


Faultily faultless, icily regular, splendidly null, dead perfection; no more.


Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892, British poet)


Be ye therefore perfect, eve as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.


The Holy Bible (Sacred scriptures of Christians and Judaism)


If faith without works is dead, willingness without action is fantasy.


Author Unknown


It is no crime not to be perfect.


Author Unknown


No one becomes perfect, but some become great.


Author Unknown


The man who has done nothing but wait for his ship to come in has already missed the boat.


Author Unknown


The nearest to perfection that most people come is when filling out an employment application.


Author Unknown


Perfectionism is the enemy of creation, as extreme self-solitude is the enemy of well-being.


John Updike (1932-, American novelist, critic)


The pursuit of perfection often impedes improvement.


George F. Will (1941-, American political columnist)


Perfection is our goal, excellence will be tolerated.


J. Yahl


I have always suspected that correctness is the last refuge of those who have nothing to say.


Friedrich Wasiman


So much perfection argues rottenness somewhere.


Beatrice Potter Webb


Perfecting is our destiny, but perfection never our lot.


C. J. Weber


The condition of perfection is idleness: the aim of perfection is youth.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


The true perfection of man lies not in what man has, but in what man is.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


The true perfection of man lies, not in what man has, but in what man is...Nothing should be able to harm a man  but himself.a Nothing should be able to rob a man at all. What a man really has is what is in him.a What is outside of him should be a matter of no importance.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


The intellect of man is forced to choose perfection of the life, or of the work, and if it take the second must refuse a heavenly mansion, raging in the dark.


William Butler Yeats (1865-1939, Irish poet, playwright.)


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