Both perfection and excellence push us to improve. Their principle difference is whether motivation is intrinsic or extrinsic.
To top the class or score high marks is perfection. To learn for the sake of learning sake is excellence.
Playing to win is perfection. Playing for the sake of enjoyment is excellence.
Striving towards a goal is perfection. Striving to improve a process is excellence.
Status, competition, scores, grades and standards push us towards perfection. Striving towards perfection is meaningful as long as it complements the pursuit of excellence, but can be detrimental otherwise.
Perfection is a means to an end, while excellence is the end itself.
What we crave for is perfection. What we seek is excellence.
Inspiration: Flow – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi