There is a subtle distinction between internally identifying something as an "ideal" and identifying something as a "goal." I'm defining an "ideal state" or "state of perfection" as some ultimate, correct, form. A "goal state" is just a form that you would like to turn into.
For many years, I measured myself against some ideal. An ideal that I had concocted in my head. Some of the attributes of ideal were consciously added, others unconsciously. For example, an ideal that latched itself onto my psyche somewhere along the line is that the ideal state, or perfect state, of earning a living is entering the corporate workforce and becoming an executive. This, I believed, is perfection. This, I believed, is the ultimate state as it relates to working. This, I believed, is what every other working path should be measured against. I was wrong. Being in the corporate workforce, and becoming an executive, is an electable goal, but isn't a state of perfection in the vein of work. It may be a goal state, but it isn't the gold standard.
Another way to view this is by looking at a tree. What does the ideal form of a tree look like? Short of thinking "there isn't an ideal" (the point I'm trying to convey), for any ideal image you mentally create for a tree, I would ask "says who?" Is there some ideal state that every tree is measured against? Who concocted the definition of the perfect tree?
Every person is on their own path, and one must be very careful to not put a state of perfection before themselves. One mustn't have more of this, less of that. One may chose to have a goal state that possesses less of this and less of that. The two views are very different. In my world, there is no state of perfection, only goal states.
Time to return to working on the radar.