Lately, my thoughts have been meandering around the idea of perfection. We all grow up as little boys and girls thinking that when we are finally adults, we will have to power to make everything ideal. We will find our perfect spouse, the perfect job, and live in the perfect house.
Eventually, we shed this childhood grandeur; everyone “knows” that perfection does not exist. Yet, somehow, we still find ourselves rejecting opportunities and people simply because they do not live up to the ideals in our minds.
This got me thinking–what exactly WOULD a perfect opportunity or a perfect person look like? Would it meet all of said person’s schedule requirements, salary requirements, coworker requirements, and have free cookies in the breakroom every day to boot? Would the perfect person always acquiesce to any request made of them, never do anything annoying, and always know the exact right thing to say each and every moment?
Just writing it makes me yawn. Becoming in possession of true perfection in all aspects of life, to me, simply means that you will stop experiencing life. How can something be considered perfection if it never prompts you to grow?
If you are truly living up to your potential, that which is quote unquote ‘perfect’ for you in May will cease to be so by June. We change so much throughout our lives, it is ridiculous to have the expectation of finding someone or something that fully and 100% fills our every wish and desire in a manner identical to our glowing mental picture.
This holds true for our self-image as well. We all have an idea of what we think it would be to be perfect. I have been guilty of beating myself up when I feel that I have missed the mark, and I don’t think that I am alone. However, if we ever actually reach our idea of impeccability, we would find that it more than likely is not what we thought it would be.
Perfection as an idea is lovely. Perfection in actuality, not so much.
There is one place where perfection does exist, however, and that is in the moment. Sometimes in life, there are tiny little spaces in time where seconds stretch and give us a glimpse of pure flawlessness in the universe. Regardless of the fact that you are not with a perfect person, in a perfect location, or at a perfect time in your life, those points in our lives can be treasured.
It could be lying on the beach with the one you love, snuggled together as a shooting star zips across the sky.
It could be straining at the weights, faltering at the final rep but mustering the mental strength to push them up one. more. time.
It could be the moment you hold your first child in your arms, exhausted from labor but exquisitely in awe of the tiny life you now influence.
All we have in life are moments, and those flawless junctures in time cannot be sought or forced, but they can be relished.
The defining factor of a moment is that it is fleeting. It happens, and then it is gone. If that pure moment were to stretch into a perfect day, month, week, or year, we would cease to recognize its perfection.
So, rather than seeking perfection, seek instead to find spaces in which to grow and develop in some way. If a choice gives you an option for mental, physical, or emotional expansion, make it. If you feel yourself flourishing around someone, keep them. If an opportunity will help you become a better overall person, seize it.
Perfection is an ideal that exists only in the mind. We were not set on this earth to be perfect, but instead to seek experiences and wisdom that will broaden us from where we started. If everything in life was perfect, how would you even know that you were alive?
Savor the imperfection of life. Appreciate the occasions where existing seems chaotic, because it is only after that storm that you can truly delight in the pure moments that creep up on you when you least expect it. And most of all, strive for your own personal perfection without condemning yourself or others for remaining in the rough.
The closer you are to the best version of yourself, the more you realize all of the little tweaks that still need to be made, pushing that image just a little bit further out of reach. Striving for perfection should drive you, but those ideals continuously being pushed ever so slightly forward should not discourage you.
Ultimately, our happiness does not depend on everything flawlessly falling into place at every single moment in our lives. And that is perfection in and of itself.