The Quest for Perfection Might Not Be All That It Is Meant to Be

When you ask people what they think stands between them and their goals, you tend to get some very standard responses: “time management,” “experience,” “skills,” etc. Yes, there are real challenges that we all have to overcome; you cannot sidestep them to achieve your goals.

Take a moment to reflect on your progress in life. Don’t go too far; just look back at the past year or two and reflect where you were at the inception of this time and where you are now.

Have you made substantial progress? Have you made any progress at all?

While there may have been periods of stagnation in between, I can guarantee you that you’ve made progress. Maybe the wheels aren’t turning as quickly as you want them to, but you are getting closer to your goals.

Perfection Is a Myth

In the past few years, I have had the luxury of examining all the lessons that I have learned in my life. Do you know what is the most important lesson that I have learned? It’s that perfection is a myth; it’s deceitful and detrimental to our success.

A primary reason for the depression in people is the quest for perfection. Perfection, as we’ve been told, does not exist. The pursuit of perfection is nothing but means to fill a void in our life. Perfection by its very definition is ‘flawless’ and, in theory, that’s ideal. However, in reality, this ‘ideal’ life or person does not exist. Therefore, our value lies not in chasing around this false idea of perfection but in making progress.

If you succumb to the idea of ‘perfect’ that you’re establishing, an expectation that cannot be satisfied, you aren’t allowing yourself to dive in to gain momentum and to take flight. This is because you’re questioning your judgment, you’re holding back, and you aren’t putting yourself out there.

If you’re not perfect and your work isn’t perfect, you don’t want it to be seen. However, there is no such thing as ‘perfect.’ The only way to obtain excellence is to move with what you have right now; you will never be flawless, but you can improve every single day.

If you throw something against a wall and it sticks, that’s great: you’ve accomplished something. However, if what you threw doesn’t stick against the wall, don’t get demotivated, don’t lose hope. Instead, regroup, reassess, and throw it again: that’s growth. Some growth is always better than no growth throughout life. Growth, not achievements, leads to satisfaction and wellness in life.

Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day

I have used the phrase ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ so many times that it has become impossible to keep count. However, there has never been a more ‘fitting’ or appropriate time to use it than now.

You don’t build a city. Instead, you create buildings, design roads, and install amenities, and it all converges to become a city. Those sequences of events, trials, and errors, and the process of growth is what makes the city possible. This is how your life should be. It’s great to be ambitious, but focusing on the ‘end goal’ instead of what’s there right in front of you would prevent you from being happy and satisfied in life. Live in the moment: this is a state of mindfulness, and from it comes true wellness.

For example, if you planned to become fit, would you avoid stepping into the gym because you don’t look like Brad Pitt in Troy? No, you’re not going to do that! This is because you know that, to get to the level where you want to be, you need to first allow yourself to be vulnerable to step into ‘unknown territory’ and then learn to evolve into your vision.

Another example that reinforces this point is a recent interview of the now popular singer Ed Sheeran. In the interview, Sheeran talked about his first shows and the first music he ever wrote; he still has the recordings and considers them to be horrible, but that’s what got him where he is now. That’s determination, that’s progress; he wasn’t intimidated to get out there and grow. Now, he can sit back, reflect, and joke a little bit about his journey.

True Happiness Comes from Acknowledging that You’re Flawed

When I look at my greatest accomplishments in life, I am reminded of what made them possible. Yes, my experiences, education, and the right counseling played a role, but the most important thing was the trust that I had—and I still do—in myself. This trust comes from acknowledging that I am flawed; I not only accept all my flaws but also see them as seeds that enable something truly unique and great things to transpire.

From my acquired wisdom from years of learning, I can tell you that every single person reading this has something that they’re hesitant to start. However, I would advise you never to lose sight of the fact that reaching a goal takes time; there’s something you grow into, but you need to first allow yourself to take that leap. In the end, I would like to remind you that the only perfect thing in existence is the current moment: the state of mindfulness, and it is the first step to everything you could ever want.

Mike Samar
Mike Samar
Mike Samar is a trained counselor at Mind Wellness Counseling who provides guidance and support to people of all ages to overcome depression and break free from unwanted thoughts. He helps identify the underlying issues and creates actionable steps to help individuals make a positive change in their lives.


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