“I saw that you were perfect, and so I loved you. Then I saw that you were not perfect, and I loved you even more.” ~Angelita Lim
I’m not a perfect parent. I’m not a perfect partner. I’m not in perfect health. I’m not a perfect friend. And I’m far from perfect with my finances.
Hell, nothing about my life is perfect. And guess what? I’ll never be able to attain perfection in those areas. And I’m sorry to say it, but neither will you.
Don’t be fooled by calling yourself a perfectionist. Perfection as a destination is what causes procrastination. And for most of us, it’s nothing more than an excuse to avoid putting in the work, because why try if we don’t have the skills to be perfect?
Unfortunately, this belief that we can attain perfection is bullshit. It’s an idea adopted from the school system. Grades were meaningless because they had nothing to do with effort. They were a simple way of ticking boxes for the masses.
Conversely, a meaningful life comes down to your effort when no one is watching.
What did you do today? Did you show up? Did you make an effort to be a better parent, a better partner, be in better health, a better friend, and better your finances?
No effort = No progress = No reward.
We can’t put off living our lives hoping that someday these areas will magically be perfect.
Yesterday is dead and gone. Tomorrow is nothing more than a dream. So focus on today.
You’re living right now. This is your chance to be better.
Want to be a better parent? Want to be a better partner? Want better health? Want to be a better friend? Want better finances?
Start by putting your phone down and giving each area your undivided presence.
Be with your kids. Be with your partner. Be with your health. Be with your friends. Be conscious with your money.
Perfection is horribly discouraging because who the hell has time for their ideal two-hour morning routine? I sure as hell don’t. With a kid who isn’t in daycare, running a business, and paying bills, many days feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants.
And that’s also why many of us fail to progress on what’s meaningful. If you get stuck in an all-or-nothing mentality, it almost always means you’re doing nothing.
But suppose you did something radical and showed yourself empathy in these moments. In that case, you’ll change the entire trajectory of your life by simply showing up.
Don’t have time to go to the gym? Don’t have time to do an at-home workout? Don’t have time to go for a walk? Don’t have time to do ten squats and a few pushups?
Pick your kid up, throw on some Taylor Swift, and throw a dance party, you crazy fool.
Change the scope of what you deem a win for the day.
When you accept that perfection is impossible, you can get down to the actual work of making improvements because you’ve given yourself a way to show up every damn day.
Every action you take (or don’t take) is a vote toward the person you’re becoming. Don’t discount the truth that small actions create colossal change.
Think of a single vote: In a democracy, a single vote can be the deciding factor in an election, which can have significant consequences for the direction of a country.
Think of a small spark: A small spark can ignite a large fire, which can have severe consequences for people and the environment.
Think of a tiny seed: A tiny seed can grow into a large plant, providing food, oxygen, and habitat for various living things.
Think of a simple idea: A simple idea can lead to development of a new technology or product that changes how people live and work.
Think of a single word: One word or phrase can spark a movement, change public opinion, or inspire others to take action.
Dedicate today to taking one small action on something that matters to you, even if it’s just five minutes and feels insignificant.
This small, simple, single step you’ve been putting off could be the catalyst for the explosion that propels you forward and transforms your life (and the world) for the better.
You got this.
You deserve a better life.