Not Settling for Perfect

It’s my belief that most of the time, most people try to do their best. For some, it is a constant struggle for perfection. That is to say, their best is never quite good enough or their effort is never quite acknowledged (for themselves) as the best they could do. And at the other end of the spectrum are those for whom the results of doing their best do not match the intended outcome–something like, “I did everything I could and it still didn’t turn out right,” or “I’m doing everything I’m supposed to, but this problem happened anyway.”

I have personally hung out in each of these camps and at various places in between, and what I am starting to understand is that all along that continuum is the opportunity to not just do our best, but also be at our best–that is, to be happy and fulfilled and knowing inside that we’re moving in the right direction. And you take that opportunity by feeling good about your efforts and your outcomes whatever they are, and by accepting that they are exactly perfect for where you are in your journey. I know that internally there is clamoring from either end of the spectrum about not wanting to settle for less than what is actually desired, or about becoming complacent and not working for self-improvement. But the truth is that it is not only possible, but it is crucial to be simultaneously completely satisfied with what is, and always wanting and asking more for and of yourself.

Many contemporary philosophers, teachers, and coaches say that in order to have a thing, you must first be the thing you want so that you will do the things that can bring you what you’ve wanted to have. Or to quote the philosophy more succinctly, “In life, you do not have to do anything. It’s all a question of what you are being.”

While I understand the idea and agree with the vibrational Law of Attraction (where that which unto itself is similar, is irrepressibly drawn), I don’t agree that you don’t have to do anything. I believe that in order to be anything, you must start to do things because it is only in action that our bodies and nervous systems continually learn to move past what’s comfortable to achieve and sustain true happiness. It is only through embodied experience that we can actually be what we want, much less have what we want.

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