So YOU wanna’ be PERFECT and NORMAL??? Seriously.
Based on emails from Tushkateers* as well as various coaching conversations that I’ve had with a number of my (star – you are all stars) one-on-one coaching clients – the concept of ‘normal’ and ‘perfect’ has repeatedly surfaced, so I thought today we might look at ‘normal’ and ‘perfect.’
Yes, many have wished that they were ‘normal’ and are down, down, down on themselves for not being perfect.
I’m curious to know what you think being ‘normal’ (whatever that is) and ‘perfect’ (whatever that is) looks like and what being ‘normal’ and ‘perfect’ will do for you. If we were in a ‘live workshop setting,’ sitting around a cracklin’ fire, I’d ask you, and we would have a mighty fine conversation. (Oh, I do love workshops!! (My next is in August at Omega Institute for Holistic Living, Rhinebeck, NY – Aug 5-7)
But – we are not in an in-person setting – so, I’m asking you to please take a moment to define what those words means to you (be specific) and then ask yourself, “What does ‘normal’ look like to you and what would being ‘normal’ get you?” –and- “What does ‘perfect’ look like and why oh why would you want to be perfect?”
In his book, “Living Wabi Sabi,” Taro Gold writes: “Those who inspire us most do not achieve perfection through greatness: They achieve greatness through imperfection. All of the world’s best-loved truth-seekers and religious figures, including Jesus and Buddha, led obviously less-than-perfect lives and were the first to let us know that they, too, were not perfect people….”
Perfection is a fruitless endeavor, and it causes much (optional) suffering*. Actually, it causes optional suffering (the kind you inflict upon yourself when you really, really do not have to).
Mistakes, failure and imperfection have created life changing explorations and ‘happy accidents.’ Did you now that mistakes (a form of imperfection; because if you were perfect you wouldn’t make a mistake, would you?) have led to the discovery of DNA, penicillin, aspirin, X-rays, Teflon, Velcro, nylon, cornflakes, Coca-Cola, and chocolate-chip cookies?
Can you imagine what it would be like if you woke up and everything went the way you wanted it to go? Exactly? I mean everything! From the moment you woke up till the end of the day … perfect. There would be no challenge. There would be no growth.
Are you familiar with the movie “Pleasantville” (video link) starring Reese Witherspoon and Tobey McGuire (1998)? Robert McDaniel of Film and History described the town of Pleasantville as the perfect place, “It never rains, the highs and lows rest at 72 degrees, the fire department exists only to rescue treed cats, and the basketball team never misses the hoop.” However, McDaniel says, “Pleasantville is a false hope. David’s journey tells him only that there is no “right” life, no model for how things are “supposed to be’.”
mentalCISE*: Consider the following definitions of the words ‘normal’ and ‘perfect.’
The dictionary definition of ‘normal’ is:
Conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural. Approximately average in any psychological trait, as intelligence, personality, or emotional adjustment.
The dictionary definition of ‘perfect’ is:
Conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type. Exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose. Entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings. Accurate, exact or correct in every detail. Pure or unmixed.
Today, observe your imperfections with an open eye and from a new perspective.
List 3 things that are ‘not normal’ and/or ‘imperfect’ about you that you wouldn’t change for the world and what it is about that ‘part’ of you that is so appealing.
FYI – this isn’t as easy as it sounds.
I embrace my imperfections …
(Embrace: to take or receive gladly or eagerly; to embrace an idea. To take in with the eye or the mind.)
My example: I embrace that I am ‘less than neat.’ I toss papers around, make a mess, ink spills and happy accidents happen. I embrace my happy accidents! I notice and expand upon them!!! I am moving toward happy and away from the fridge!!!
*mentalCISE – an exercise for the brain (included in all 21 Day Cures, Janice’s e-coaching programs)! Thinking is a very cool thing to do, isn’t it???
Spread the word … NOT the icing,
wise * fun * utterly useful
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