Perfection has been on my mind lately. Or more accurately..the pursuit of imperfection.
As a type A personality, attention to detail, the grand scheme of things and excellence (perfection) above all are vying for attention in my brain at any given moment. Personal project, professional career, spiritual life, relationships – it’s in my DNA to pursue perfection. A common phrase that I hear my subconscious repeating is “you can do better.” But, like we talked about last week, negative self-talk isn’t truly motivating us from the right place. It might prod us into diligence, but is it motivating us to do our best work from the deepest well inside of us?
I heard a phrase online this last week that gave me pause and has radically reset my work tone: it is the imperfections that keep us alive. The discussion was from a teacher directing others to not continually expect perfection, but rather to do your best and continue to improve – look for improvement, not for perfection.
The imperfections keep us alive as long as we continue to improve.
To think of our lives as a series of decisions that are ready for improvement takes the exhaustion out of consistent striving for perfection. Brittani talked about Continuing Steadfast in Monday morning’s post and referenced Philippians in her writing. Look at this passage:
“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do:
forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Paul was aware of his imperfections. We are aware of our imperfections. What if, instead of striving for daily perfection, beating ourselves up when we don’t achieve it and becoming frustrated with others imperfections, we decided to do our best, perceive others to be doing their best and continue in a lifestyle of improvement rather than perfection…that sounds like such a better way to live!
Done > Perfect.