The “perfect solution fallacy”

The Nirvana fallacy is built on faulty reasoning, where an argument assumes that a solution should be rejected because some part of the problem still exists after the solution is applied.

People that fall prey to the Nirvana fallacy assume that a perfect solution does exist. In those cases, the Nirvana fallacy is a mix of wishful thinking and black-and-white thinking.

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Problem Solving

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The Nirvana fallacy

The Nirvana fallacy is a form of perfectionism and it consists in comparing existing solutions with ideal, unrealistic ones.

A false dichotomy is a thinking fallacy in which a statement wrongly assumes an either/or situation, when the two solutions are in fact compatible, or there is actually a third potential option.

  • Focus on incremental improvements. Instead of aiming for the perfect solution, aim for a better solution. All these tiny improvements will compound, leading to massive changes over the long term.
  • Set intermediary deadlines. By setting intermediary deadlines, we can force ourselves to make tangible progress.
  • Keep your perfectionist mindset in check. Make time for self-reflection to understand why you are making certain decisions, or why you are not making progress on a specific project.

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Do a weekly review to reflect on your progress

Try to identify things you avoided due to fear of failure and situations where your perfectionism wasn’t worth it or moments where you did well despite being uncertain.

Your objective here is to learn where perfectionism has a positive impact and where it does not.

How to Manage Your Perfectionism

hbr.org

The fear of making mistakes

The fear of making mistakes can have individual (psychological) or organizational causes. The classic individual cause is perfectionism, which leads to lack of productivity, tense climate, micromanagement, and burnout. 

The organizational cause can come from a culture in which exists a fear of failure, a culture in which failure is analyzed not to see what we can learn from it, but to find and punish the guilty, a culture that punishes action, but not the mistakes made due to inaction, causing a total lack of initiative.

What is Analysis Paralysis ? and overcoming perfectionism.

thinkinginbusiness.com

Perfectionism

Perfectionism is a personality trait, which can be an endless pursuit of high standards in every area of our lives, but can also be a 'disorder' like condition or a phobia, akin to 'Fear of Failure'.

'My brain feels like it's been punched': the intolerable rise of perfectionism

theguardian.com

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