In Pursuit of Perfection

    View Yourself as Work of Art

    The pursuit of perfection is an exhausting exercise in futility. Better to embrace your imperfection. (Agreed, this is easier to handle in theory than reality.) Still, why not go for broke? Decide to view yourself as a Work of Art … in Progress!

    Rather than strive for the impossible: perfection, embrace the possible: imperfection. Accepting your imperfection unconditionally does not give you a free pass to mediocrity. Rather by giving you a way around the impossible (perfection), you are free to achieve the possible (the best you can do or be at any time, in any situation.)

    *If you say, “I will never be a perfect housekeeper.” Ask yourself, “What’s the best I can be?”
    ~Keep your place tidy.
    ~Keep dirt down to a dull roar.

    *If you say, “I will never be a perfect parent.” Ask yourself, “What’s the best I can be?”
    ~I can be supportive of my children’s dreams.
    ~I can love them unconditionally.
    ~I can admit when I screw up, learn from it, and strive to do better.

    *If you say, “I will never be a perfect financier.” Ask yourself, “What’s the best I can be?”
    ~I can live within my means.
    ~I can reach out and learn from others who understand such matters more than I.

    *If you say, “I will never be a perfect artist.” Ask yourself, “What’s the best I can be?”
    ~I can doodle!
    ~I can sketch!
    ~I can appreciate the beauty around me and that created by others.

    Road to Perfection

    *If you say, “I will never be a perfect friend.” Ask yourself, “What’s the best I can be?”
    ~When you blow it, apologize sincerely, learn from it, and move on.

    *If you say, “I will never be a perfect spouse/partner.” Ask yourself, “What’s the best I can be?”
    (Notice similarities to friends. Ideally your spouse/partner will also be your friend.)

    In life, there are many things you will not be perfect at. (All things really.) So ask yourself, “What’s the best I can be?” and aim for that. If need be, seek out others who are less imperfect than you in certain areas (and enjoy what they do), to either assist you in becoming less imperfect, or complete whatever task you’re having difficulties with.

    Again, unconditionally accepting your imperfection does NOT mean condoning it. It gives you a starting point. Parameters and boundaries which free you to find solutions and get things done.

    Imperfection. Now What?

    When you say, “I will never be a perfect human being.” Definitely ask yourself, “What’s the best I can be.” With your answer, you will have a worthy goal — possibly your life’s purpose. When along the way you find you’ve not done your best in a given situation, accept that as part of your imperfection, learn from it, remind yourself of your best, dust yourself off, and continue on your way.

    As a Wise Old Soul said (while still inhabiting a Very Young Body), “Something has to matter, but not everything.”

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    Josanne - August 21, 2013 - 1:17 am

    None of us are perfect, and I’m so glad of that! What a boring old world it would be.
    I strive to do better each day, but only in small ways (I don’t want to exhaust myself!), that matter to me, and have a positive impact on those around me.
    I’m definitely trying to be the best I can be. x

    kath unsworth - August 21, 2013 - 1:45 am

    Love it and live by a similar vision, no two days are ever the same, if I am having a challenging day I remember I am very capable of solving life’s problems with a smile and a positive attitude. Thats how my amazing mother does it still! My father use to say may as well laugh about our imperfections and get on with living the best we can be. Loved this post.

    Patti Hall - August 21, 2013 - 6:47 am

    Love this message, Tana! I shared it all over, for others to start their day with this :>)

    Tracy L - August 21, 2013 - 9:08 am

    I love the way you write Tana and love your simple but wise advice. I do struggle with trying to be perfect and it’s such a futile effort. :) I love the idea of reframing my worries with ‘What’s the best I can be?’ Such a kinder way to treat oneself.

    Dana B - August 21, 2013 - 9:46 am

    So true… … Love the super cute faces on the doodle peeps! makes me smile just to see them :)

    Tana Bevan - August 21, 2013 - 9:59 am

    I agree Josanne, it would be a very boring world if we were perfect. (And if we were all alike.) As for aiming for small improvements, I agree completely. Baby steps! If need be, baby crawls (or even baby slithers *smiles*). A wise woman understands she doesn’t want to exhaust herself … she needs her energy for the silly, comical, and Good Things and Little Happies. Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderfully imperfect day!

    Tana Bevan - August 21, 2013 - 10:05 am

    Your father was a wise man indeed, Kath. I love his positive (practical and pragmatic) outlook. He’s right. We might as well laugh at our imperfections (we’re going to have them anyway). By laughing we feel better AND we spread good cheer. Who’da’thunk so much wonderfulness could come from something so imperfect? Enjoy your gloriously imperfect day!

    Tana Bevan - August 21, 2013 - 10:09 am

    Patti, So glad you loved this message. Woo-hoo! Yay! (Makes me feel special and honored to be the purveyor of good cheer.) Thank you for sharing with others. I admit, days which begin with a smile seem to just get better and better. Enjoy your happily imperfect day!

    Tana Bevan - August 21, 2013 - 10:24 am

    Thank you Tracy for stopping by, commenting, and your compliments. Starting with the premise “I’m imperfect, what’s the best I can do” is a simple way to channel the impossible into the possible. Wishing you a merrily imperfect day!

    Tana Bevan - August 21, 2013 - 10:25 am

    Hey Friend, thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Glad the doodle peeps brought a smile to your face. (Yippee!!) May the smile stay with you this entire wonderfully imperfect day!

    Kitt Crescendo - August 21, 2013 - 12:22 pm

    I love this! It reminds me of a post I’d recently wrote about how beautiful imperfections are if you just stop and look. :-)

    Tana Bevan - August 21, 2013 - 4:39 pm

    Kitt–It’s always good to hear from you. There is something very freeing about embracing one’s imperfection. I like how in your blog post you observed “Sometimes, if you look closely enough you’ll find there’s something pretty amazing in the imperfections.” So very true. Enjoy your marvelously imperfect day, with your terrifically imperfect husband.

    Talicha J. - August 21, 2013 - 9:53 pm

    “The pursuit of perfection is an exhausting exercise in futility.” nice! I really enjoyed this because I found myself continuously nodding my head in agreement to what you were pointing out. Sometimes we set standards for what we deem as perfect and imperfect, but fail to realize that the in-between can be just as rewarding. Great thought provoking post!

    Tana Bevan - August 21, 2013 - 10:13 pm

    I have a friend who says, “Good is good enough.” In theory I understand (and even accept) it. The reality, however, is I am one of those “Just let me do this one more thing” people. By the time I’m through with all my “just one more …” hours have passed. It’s late. I’m tired. And while the end product might be a little bit “cleaner,” I’m not sure it was worth all the effort. Besides, because I was in “Just one more thing” mode, all the other things I was to do, didn’t get done.

    It’s a tough one, finding the balance between doing your best, “good is good enough,” and not letting yourself produce shoddy work. Maybe the trick is in the 80/20 rule. Rather than spend 80% of your time on the final 20% in tweaking, perhaps it’s wiser to spend 20% of your time accomplishing 80% of the project and being happy with that. Hmmm an interesting thought.

    I really appreciate you stopping by Talicha. Your comment got me thinking about the 80/20 rule in a new light. Does that idea resonate with you at all?

    Teagan Kearney - August 23, 2013 - 3:43 am

    Hi Tana, loved this optimistic cheery blog with your lovely drawings. You set a lovely example of how to encourage others in our lives. Keep writing – and drawing!

    Tana Bevan - August 23, 2013 - 9:39 am

    Hi Teagan, Thank you for stopping by and sharing your wonderful, encouraging, and uplifting comments. The present plan is to continue writing, doodling, and encouraging. Have yourself an absolutely Fabulous Friday!

    Jan Jackson - August 25, 2013 - 12:07 pm

    Perfect is boring. Color outside the lines!

    Tana Bevan - August 25, 2013 - 3:08 pm

    I can’t speak from experience as to whether perfect is boring or not. Hmm, wonder what a perfect person/being would strive for (or towards). Well, there’s not much chance of me ever finding an answer to that, so I’ll continue on my merrily imperfect way.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Jan. May you enjoy your imperfection!