How to be Perfect?
Are you perfect? Do you want to be? Do you try to be perfect in everything you do?
Many of us are brought up to be ‘Perfect’. The Perfect 10. The 100%. The Top of Class.
Ever since we were young, we were taught to be ‘Perfect’. It is never good enough to be ‘OK’. It is not ideal to be ‘Doing Your Best’. Things must be perfect. Achieving Perfection is the goal.
Be the Perfect child.
The Perfect student.
The Perfect Wife.
The Perfect Worker.
Have the perfect body?
Do a perfect yoga pose?
Take the perfect picture?
Host the perfect party?
If you get 4A’s and 1B’s on your transcript, what would your parent’s reaction be?
- Good job! You got 4 A’s, or
- What happened to the ‘B’?
And that is how I was raised, by my parents, my teachers, and pretty much everyone else around me.
I should be perfect. The perfect daughter. The perfect student. The perfect pianist.
But I’m far from it.
I don’t feel perfect. Even when I did feel like I played ‘Perfectly’ in a piano recital, the next day I would rethink again, doubt myself, and eventually came up with points where I just was not perfect.
The good thing is, you can learn from your mistakes, your imperfections.
The bad news is, you spend your life chasing perfection. And Perfection is like a shadow. It is right in front of you, and never to be reached.
What is considered ‘Perfect’?
What does it mean?
Is there a universal definition of how ‘Being Perfect’ should be? Or is it subject to our opinions, our experiences, and our preferences?
According to Dictionary.com, the definition of ‘Perfect’ is
- entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings;
- accurate, exact, or correct in every detail;
- excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement;
What happens even if you are the ‘Perfect 10’?
I was watching the women’s gymnastics during the 2016 Summer Olympics games in Rio, Brazil, one of the most watched Olympics event across the globe.
During one of the competitions, the camera panned in on Nadia Comaneci, the Romanian gymnast who is considered an Icon in the gymnastics world. Nadia received a perfect score of ‘10’ during the 1976 Olympic games in Montreal, and then again in the 1980 Olympic games.
While she is considered a legend, an icon, an model in the gymnast world, the scoring system for gymnastics has evolved so that a score of ‘10’ is probably a very poor performance. The scoring system is now based on the difficulty of the routine and by the execution. And every competitor can potentially has a different ‘Maximum’ score.
The ‘Perfect 10’ is no longer perfect.
Why do we work so hard to be Perfect?
Being ‘Perfect’ is an emotional state, a judgement, an opinion on how things should be, how a person should behave, what you can achieve.
Achieving ‘Perfection’ is a stroke of ego, a boost to our confidence, and gives us a sense of achievement.
But the sense of Perfection often don’t stay inside our heads long enough to give us the satisfaction we need.
Before we even celebrated our achievement, we are already moving on to the next task, our next goal. Chasing our next Perfection.
The problem with chasing Perfection is that
- Perfect is also judgemental.
When I was a teenager, I took part in many piano competitions and performances. Sometimes I felt like I’ve played perfectly, only to receive no response from my audience.
Other times, I felt like I did a horrible job, and received an overwhelming applause.
What I see as perfect, others may not agree. It is merely a judgement of ourselves, and of others, at a certain point of time, and may be affected by many external factors.
- You feel guilty and disappointed when you did not do a perfect job or got a 100% on a test. Eventually, you built a belief within yourself that you can never achieve perfection. You develop a limiting belief in yourself that you can never be good enough.
- Being imperfect hurts your self esteem. You stops believing that you can be successful, that you can achieve what you want.
Chasing Perfection will elude you because perfection doesn’t exist.
It is a temporary state of mind.
Thinking that you have achieved Perfection is an Acceptance of your current state, that will ultimately stops you from being more, from growing, from getting more.
If not perfect, then what?
One of our basic human needs is to grow. Strive to be better today than yesterday. Learn something new everyday. Help more people. Have a bigger impact to your community.
Race against yourself, not against others. You are your own best critique and competitor.
More importantly, take some time to reflect on your achievements.
Celebrate your Success. Announce it to your friends so that they can celebrate with you. Don’t worry about being braggy. If you are truthful and sincerely then you are not boastful. Be genuine.
Do not doubt yourself. Believe that you are always doing the best you can at that point in time. That is all we can really do.
And if you feel like you have no success to celebrate?
No one to share your success with?
You have not grown intellectually in the last few years?
You have not achieved your goals?
Then I suggest that it is time to step up and take some action.
Figure out what you want in life:
- What is your ideal financial situation? What does it look like?
- Who do you want in your life? How connected are you with your loved ones?
- Do you love what you do? Are you utilizing your strengths to help build your community?
- Are you taking care of yourself: Your body, your sanity, your wellness?
- How do you enjoy using your spare time? What are your hobbies?
- Are you making a difference to your community? To this world?
- Do you want to leave a legacy?
Learn to be Successful, not how to be perfect.
- Are you where you were 5 years ago? Do you want to be in the same place 5 years from now?
- Do you feel like you are always reacting and never got your way?
- Do you feel lost and have no directions on where to go?
- Do you feel like you are stuck in quick sand and desperately need to climb out no matter what it takes?
Learn how to climb out of sinking mud, strive to move forward. Have a clear direction on where you want to go.
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Live What You Love. Love What You Live.
–The Author, Minna Wong, MBA, is the co-founder of the Foolish Academy, Jack Canfield certified Success Coach and Mentor, business consultant and entrepreneur mentor.
–Find out more about the Foolish Couple at www.TheFoolishCouple.com