Letting Go of Perfection

21 Apr

You may, in your life, experience a moment of perfection.

A bowling score of 300.  A perfect baseball game for a pitcher. Nail a presentation.  Buy a spot-on gift.  Host the dream dinner party.  Score the biggest book of business your company has seen.

Or you may not.  But what you won’t experience is a life of perfection.  Or even a week.  Or a day.  Circumstances change, weather changes, weight changes, moods change, other people change, taxes increase, gas prices eliminate your savings, car repairs are inevitable, the little black dress will become less black over time, the T-shirt will become threadbare, the washing machine will break down.

Perfection is unattainable.

But we forget this.  We buy into some lie that whispers “but just for you” or “but this one time” or “if anyone can do it, you can” and we try again and again.

You know the “nicest guy ever?”  Ask him, I bet he can tell you a few less than stellar moments from his past day.
You know the “best Mom ever?” Ask her, I bet she can tell you that she wished her children away or nearly cried at some point today.
You know the “perpetual energy girl?”  If you can get her to stop moving for a second, she can tell you her life isn’t all completed to do lists.
You know the “wisdom guru?”  He’s felt dumb before.  He’s wished people would stop asking for advice. He’s wished he would take his own advice.

Stop trying so hard.  Ask yourself:

  • How important is it to really do things my way?
  • Am I the only person who can make this happen?
  • Is doing my best the same as doing something perfectly?  Does it matter?
  • Do I expect more of others than I expect of myself?
  • Do others expect more of me than they expect of themselves?
  • Are there higher standards than human expectations?
  • Is striving without rest healthy?  Is it right?

Have you ever heard a woman say “my wedding was perfect” and then end the conversation?  I haven’t.  Something always goes wrong.  There is always a hilarious story.  And it’s interesting and entertaining.

Have you ever watched a MacGyver episode where everything goes smoothly?  Why would you?

Mission Possible would be dull.  Sleepless in Seattle without the sleeplessness would just be…In Seattle.

Flaws and imperfections are the solution to monotony and The Truman Show living.  And I find that just perfect.

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