A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault.
John Henry Newman
I know I have shared with you my dislike for the unrealistic desire to be perfect that holds so many people back from doing what they could do. It helps to understand that we have not been put here to make others happy, rather we owe it to ourselves to do what we want to do and what we are capable of doing.
Yesterday Henrik Edberg of the Positivity Blog sent me the following article he just published. I think what he has to say is sound advice, I just wish more people allowed themselves to avoid the limits they set on themselves.
It’s OK to Be Human (You Don’t Have to Do Things Perfectly)
Perfectionism. It holds you back from actually getting all the way to done with a lot in life. It may hold you back from even trying to do something because you feel you have
to do it perfectly. And it tears your self-esteem apart. So what can you do about it?
Well, two things that have really helped me are:
Find a balance for yourself and set your own bar.
Instead of setting the bar for yourself – or letting other people set that bar – at an inhuman standard set it at a human level.
We all fail. We all have trouble reaching our goals sometimes. That is OK and very human.
Don’t obey the bar that someone else has set for you. They may have set it out of the goodness of their hearts – or not, to for example maximize profits – but if the old standards do not work for you then it is time to find a better standard for yourself.
So set your bar at a level where you feel motivated but where you do not have to achieve inhuman results to like yourself and to be satisfied.
Surround yourself with human standards.
Choose to take small steps week by week to rearrange your world so that it becomes more and more supportive of you.
Reduce or cut out media sources that make you feel worse or like you have to live up to perfect standards. Replace them with podcasts, blogs, books etc. filled with optimism and motivation but also kinder and more realistic expectations.
Do the same thing with the people in your life. Spend more time with people who are kind, who like to grow and like living a good life in a balanced, positive and mentally healthy way.
This is your life. You decide. So set and surround yourself with the standards that help you to both do good and to feel good.
“But I am learning that perfection isn’t what matters. In fact, it’s the very thing that can destroy you if you let it.”
A wealthy man decided to go on a safari in Africa. He took his faithful pet dog along for company. One day the dog starts chasing butterflies and before long he discovers that he is lost. So, wandering about he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the obvious intention of having lunch.
The dog thinks, “Boyo, I’m in deep doo doo now.” (He was an Irish setter)…. Then he noticed some bones on the ground close by, and immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the leopard is about to leap, the dog exclaims loudly, “Man, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any more around here?” Hearing this the leopard halts his attack in mid stride, as a look of terror comes over him, and slinks away into the trees. “Whew”, says the leopard. “That was close. That dog nearly had me.”
Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So, off he goes. But the dog saw him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figured that something must be up. The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard. The cat is furious at being made a fool of and says, “Here monkey, hop on my back and see what’s going to happen to that conniving canine.”
Now the dog sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back, and thinks, “What am I going to do now?” But instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers pretending he hasn’t seen them yet. And just when they get close enough to hear, the dog says, “Where’s that monkey. I just can never trust him. I sent him off half an hour ago to bring me another leopard, and he’s still not back!!”
Love your neighbor, just don’t get caught.
Doug and Bill were at the racetrack.
Doug says, “You know, if you win $600 on a race, the track tells the government.”
Bill says, “Well it could be worse.”
Doug replies, “What could be worse than telling the government you won $600.”
Bill sighs, “Telling your wife.”
Age always corresponds inversely to the size of your multi-vitamin.
“Say, Bill,” a man said to his pal, “how do you like your new job?”
“It’s the worst job I ever had.”
“How long have you been there?”
“About three months.”
“Why don’t you quit?”
“No way. This is the first time in 20 years that I’ve looked forward to going home.”
“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”
While on maternity leave, a woman from our office brought in her new bundle of joy. She also had her seven-year-old son with her. Everyone gathered around the baby, and the little boy asked, “Mommy, can I have some money to buy a soda?”
“What do you say?” she asked.
Respectfully, the boy replied, “You’re thin and beautiful.”
The woman reached in her purse and gave her son the money.
“God help the man who won’t marry until he finds a perfect woman, and God help him still more if he finds her.”
I was in the express lane at the store quietly fuming.
Completely ignoring the sign, the woman ahead of me had slipped into the check-out line pushing a cart piled high with groceries.
Imagine my delight when the cashier beckoned the woman to come forward, looked into the cart and asked sweetly, “So which six items would you like to buy?”
“At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous. It’s about fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of failure. Fear of success.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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