As she looked in the mirror, she saw things she liked about her face; her eyes, her nose but then she saw things she didn’t like. Things she wanted to change, things she wanted to improve. Things she believed she needed to be perfect, to be happy.
He worked hard all through the year, and got a big bonus. It was the biggest bonus any junior ever received in his company. He was happy, but then he compared himself to his senior. He thought about what was wrong. It was not perfect, I need to work harder to be perfect and then only will be happy, he thought to himself.
If only I had/am…I would be perfect…and then I will be happy.
The blanks change, but the delusion that the pursuit of perfection will bring genuine happiness keeps us constantly dissatisfied and discontented with ourselves. Our Pursuit of Perfection causes us to focus on things that must change, it focuses on what is wrong and it takes away the joy of appreciating what was done and what is. It takes us away from appreciating the present, and focus on the flaws of the past and possible flaws of the future.
Seeking perfection makes us anxious. We begin to believe nothing is ever good enough, and get caught up in making things on the outside look perfect hoping it will give us peace and serenity on the inside.
Perfection and inner peace cannot live together. Inner peace means being happy and all accepting of what is. But perfection means a constant seek for change that arises from dissatisfaction and discontentment.
To focus on perfection means focusing on what is not perfect; this pulls us away from our true pursuit of inner peace and genuine happiness.
Make no mistake; this has nothing to do with working hard.
There is value in changing for the better but there is also value in acceptance. If we grow to love and accept ourselves, as we are, our initiation to change is in the right direction; and thus we are able to break free from the imprisoning pursuit of perfection.