Dr. Paul Kalinithi writes in his memoir, When Breath Becomes Air: You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving. (An asymptote is a line that continually approaches a given curve but never meets it.)
Judaism inspires us to strive for perfection while understanding that we are inherently imperfect beings. Elul provides us a structure to look inward in preparation for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. As you go through the month, try to target an asymptote toward which you strive for the coming year. Think about that asymptote during the High Holy Days and draw connections to it through our liturgy.