In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
—John 16:33, NKJV
Perfection is an unattainable ideal that keeps people from living their best lives. We all live through life with a set of expectations, and when they don't play out as we expect, then we are dissapointed in ourselves. It's as if we walk around with our own ideals of perfection, even though we know its possible to obtain, we impose this idea on all we do. Yet, living your best life does not equate to titles, riches, or what you consider ideal behaviors and relationships. It is not defined by how many people thought you were spotless of impurity; or perceived you as the idea of power. Living your best life is the sum of the most treasured moments in your life, hopefully outweighing what you saw as struggle. Life is 10% of what happens to us, and 90% of how we respond. Therefore, understand that your'e plans will never be carried out how you may you think; expectations of yourself and others will look differently from reality; there will always be challenges in your journey; people, finances, relationships. All that you can control is your own perception, thoughts and behaviors. At any given day different matters will impact us, and our best looks differently each day. It is the act of putting in check your perception, thought and behaviors which will allow to gracefully live through your life, accepting imperfection and even embracing it because Imperfection makes life perfect!
Isn't it funny that in hindsight, you can reflect on times in which your anxieties about the imperfections in yourself, another or situation seem so trivial compared to how those moments felt in real time? It is from this perspective I think its important to operate from. The goal is to live a life worth living! Not one in which mistakes were never made because those "mistakes" are very much a part of life. In today's world people obsess over "the grind," looking their best, acting their best, and fulfilling a laundry list of expectations they have put on themselves. I am a true believer in hard work, but I have also had enough conversations with my elders to share that those ideals obsessed over during their youth, was of no, or very little importance as they began to reflect on their lives. In our journey for attaining our desires in life, its something of importance for us to always consider our attachment to the outcomes. Are you working hard for the house, property or luxury apartment because it will give you a false sense of confidence or security? Or are you striving because you are proving to yourself that you can accomplish a goal, work for something you feel like you can deserve, and may set a great example for those around you? Well if that space is not attained, do you still value yourself and your worth ethic? Do you teach others how to set goals and focus on achieving them? I guarantee if you taught others to successfully make their dreams come true, you'de find more fulfillment in that.
Are you striving for an ideal body because you're hungry for attention, or you've absorbed the idea of medias portrayals of beauty and attractiveness? Or are you a goal digger, and an optimal body is the outcome of your health and fitness journey? Well even through the acquirement of your body, do you judge yourself for having 1 too many "cheat meals" even though on average you're pretty disciplined? So what who cares! No one is perfect, but your effort is amazing, and the others around you that you inspire to take care of themselves is of utter importance, do you recognize that?
The Gen-Y generation is marked by 2 philosophies: be free and do what you want vs. Obtain ideal education to create a powerfully impactful career (whether for passion or possession). One thing is very sure to me though, there are people who have not connected to their purposes , who feel lost; others who have spent thousands of dollars on degrees in which they begin occupations and want escape! Both groups will come across times that shake up the foundations of their ideals of perfect lives. The free spirits may face a lot of opposition for their lives, may end up in pockets of brokeness in life; the career and goal driven individuals may face layoffs, terminations, workplace politics, and even experience pockets of brokeness in their life. But what matters? Not the imperfections; it about the lessons, the grand experiences one creates around these times; the relationships; those who you positively impact.
Success is marked by the small disciplines one takes everyday. If you are constantly working towards something, some lifestyle, some mindset, no matter how it looks during the path of life, than its attainment is whats perfect, not what happens along the way...because unforeseen or undesirable events will occur.
As 2014 approaches, reflect on the greatness you experienced in 2013. Go forth setting goals for yourself, and sitting in gratitude about your growth and the amazing moments of the current year. In all your goal setting, give yourself permission now to just enjoy, and don't be so hard on yourself, no matter what the outcomes are.
Written by: Tiffany Wright