STRIVE TO BE IMPREFECT
Whatever the goal, the attempt to be “perfect” gets in the
way of getting “better.”
As an example, supposed you have decided to do something about those “few extra pounds” you’ve been carrying around lately.
With fierce determination, you boldly announce that you’re giving
up beer, desserts, and starting a 5AM walking program. “I’m
going to be perfect on my program,” you boast to anyone who will
And you are – until the first evening.
By nightfall, the drain of annoying phone calls, interruptions, and
unexpected events has you drained. You collapse on the couch, exhausted,
and tell yourself, “One beer won’t hurt. “
That’s true. Those 20 pounds weren’t caused by “one
beer.” The extra weight was actually caused by the thought that
follows. As you lick the last remnants of golden foam from the glass,
you think, “I blew today. I’ll start again tomorrow.”
That leads to one last night of scavenging the kitchen, finishing off
the ice cream – and of course making sure the six pack of beer
will be gone before you go to bed (so you won’t be “tempted”
The problem lies not in the hopps but in the thoughts. If instead of
perfection, the goal had been to be “better about my health,”
the diet would have been off to a great start. Yet, since the measure
of success was all or nothing – perfection or failure –
day one fell within the loss column.
Labeling events “success” or “failure” is more
than semantics. When we “fail”, we seek comfort. Although “bad” behaviors might not be healthy, they are comforting.
That’s why we do them. Focusing on failures therefore increases
the odds of engaging in those very failing behaviors.
Conversely, success is inspirational, sharpening the senses, allowing
new feelings and ideas to more to the forefront. As a result, new patterns
are generated; negative behaviors are reduced. There is truth to the
statement that “success breeds success.”
Success comes in small steps. Failure arrives all at once. The choice
of what we call it can make all the difference.
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