This Holiday, Give Yourself the Gift of Imperfection!

Do you ever feel as if you’re caught on a hamster wheel that keeps spinning faster and faster, forcing you to keep pace or go flying off?

It’s a classic symptom of Cultural Stress. Our lives HAVE gotten faster and more harried. Research confirms that we’re doing more and enjoying it less. Americans now work an average of 47 hours a week, and of course that’s not all we do. We’re raising kids, maintaining a household, working out, and hopefully trying to keep up with relationships and a social life.

Ironically, we think we have to do more to match the productivity of those around us. However, research reveals that when we do less, we’re actually more productive! Working to the point of exhaustion not only leads to errors, it inevitably takes a toll on our happiness and health, leading to illness, absenteeism, rising healthcare and insurance costs, and ultimately, untimely death!

The holidays can be an especially frantic time—when we’re expected to add shopping, gift-wrapping and mailing, and holiday entertaining to an already over-packed schedule. Sadly, this pace can suck all of the merriment right out of the season.

Several years ago I wrote a little book called Nobody’s Perfect. In it, I lay out simple steps for being “blissfully imperfect.” The basic premise is to recapture the state of mind you had as a toddler. Although as a child, you were far less accomplished than you are now, you probably greeted every day in joyful anticipation. Although you were doubtless going to fail at many things that day—after all, even walking was a recent achievement—failure was the last thing on your mind! You weren’t worried about doing things perfectly. You didn’t even know what perfection was!

And the truth is, neither do we. There hasn’t been a human in all of history who has done everything perfectly. Sure, a few rare individuals may score a “perfect 10” in a gymnastics competition, or pitch a perfect game of baseball, but no one achieves perfection day in and day out. Not only isn’t it possible, it isn’t even all that interesting. Worse, striving for perfection robs you of happiness. Since you can’t be perfect, you’re constantly disappointed. Striving for perfection also rules out creativity and spontaneity—which involve the risk of trying something new! How can you take that risk if you insist on perfection?

This holiday season, do yourself—and those around you—a favor and try giving yourself the gift of imperfection. Strive for excellence, not perfection, and then take pleasure in whatever achievements and moments of grace and gratitude come your way.

Here are a few more thoughts about blissful imperfection:

You have the right to be yourself.

Perfectionism leads to failure (since it’s impossible)!

To reach your potential, you must risk failure.

In fact, failure is the path to success.

Wishing you a less busy, more enjoyable holiday season!

For more inspirational sayings that promote Modern Wellness and blissful imperfection, download my Insights App, available from the Apple Apps Store.


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