The perfect personality

The best stories describe a character’s struggle to overcome the flaws in their personality. In reality, perfection doesn’t have to be so difficult to achieve.

The perfect personality

photo credit: celinecelines via photopin cc

‘In most modern stories it is the Hero’s personality that is being recreated or restored to wholeness. The missing piece may be a critical element of personality such as the ability to love or trust. Heroes may have to overcome some problem such as lack of patience or decisiveness. Audiences love watching Heroes grapple with personality problems and overcome them. Will Edward, the rich but cold-hearted businessman of Pretty Woman, warm up under the influence of the life-loving Vivian and become her Prince Charming? Will Vivian gain some self-respect and escape her life of prostitution? Will Conrad, the guilt-ridden teenager in Ordinary People, regain his lost ability to accept love and intimacy?’

Christopher Vogler. The Writer’s Journey.

It can be worthwhile to tell the client about the etymology of perfect. The first part of the word (per) comes from a term that means “thoroughly.” Fect comes from the same root as the word factory and means “made.” In normal language, wholeness and perfection seem to be issues of evaluation. If to be perfect is to be thoroughly made, perhaps perfection is more a matter of presence or wholeness. The idea “I am missing something” also comes in a moment that is always absolutely whole. No second contains more life than any other second, even the seconds that are filled with thoughts of how incomplete we are. The experience of that very thought can be complete.’

Steven C. Hayes, Kirk D. Strosahl, Kelly G. Wilson. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: An Experiential Approach to Behavior Change.

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