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Where do you think the line is between always seeking to improve versus stressing over unattainable perfection?
One I think is good, the other I think is unhealthy. Of course that's just my opinion, but even then, I'm not sure where the line gets drawn. Is it more a matter of mindset? What I mean is, is it healthy so long as the person is content where they are and happy about making changes to improve further and only unhealthy when they become stressed or feel hopeless about reaching what they perceive as perfection? Or can someone who is content and happy but seeking improvement still sometimes be acting on an unhealthy or damaging mindset? If it was your child, at what point would you become concerned with their desire for improvement?
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I think that very few people are biologically able to be content without some sort of striving or progress.
I think that the only time it's really a bad thing is when your efforts cause detriment to yourself or others (I believe this is where I'd step in). And there are certainly times in life we need to wait and be still, but I think that's for each person to decide for themselves.
In so many ways I think it is absolutely a mind set. Mental development, physical health, and emotional health all play a role. It isn't easy to know when things cross the line between healthy and harmful. It really depends on the individual in question.
If you're talking about an adult, then obviously it's a somewhat easier thing to approach. In an emotionally healthy adult, I think you can expect the ability to set realistic goals and handle falling short of those goals. However all too many adults are not emotionally healthy. They don't always have realistic expectations, healthy motivations, or coping mechanisms, and sometimes setting goals for improvement can lead to disappointment and an increasingly negative self-image.
If you're talking about this drive in the developing mind of a child, you're treading dangerous waters. Children are incredibly vulnerable. They don't all have the same ability to view not meeting a goal as acceptable - it becomes a failure, a personal deficit. They don't consider their physical abilities or mental capacities as a factor. It is all too easy to push things too far, to have standards or goals that are too high for their abilities, and teach them unhealthy practices. It is really important that they have a lot of constant support and encouragement, especially in the face of "failure."