I am long overdue for a post. I am hoping to be able to put more work on this site throughout the summer as I start having a bit more time.
Speaking of time this post will be on just that subject. Time and perfection.
The ideal of perfection is something very prevalent in today’s society. Your looks have to be according to the ideals of perfect beauty according to modern media. For most people this idea version of perfection is something that causes them a lot of pressure, and to others this ideal causes eating disorders, anxiety etc.
Perfection can also be seen in expectation other put on you. How they expect people to all fit certain molds when it comes to weight or work ethic or even learning style. The thing is everyone is different, everyone works differently, everyone has different dreams, different learning styles, different body types, different likes and dislikes etc.
So where does that put us? This is a long and complicated question but as not to get too off track I will focus on one aspect of this question. The personal ideal of perfection. It’s so easy to get sidetracked with what others want of you, while it’s good to keep some of these expectation in mind as they will help you make informed decisions and be aware of other people’s needs. It is also so important to every once in a while focus on what perfection is to you. What are your goals? What are your hopes? What is acceptable to you?
I have been thinking of this idea lately as I have been very busy with some work for my summer job I needed to prepare a large document of many pages. We were given about 20 hrs or payed work for this document. I am passionate about doing my summer job right and making the documents the best it could be. So I started working with this intention and soon realized that 1 of the 9 parts of this document took over four hours. Meaning the whole thing would take more than twice as much the 20 hrs they gave us.
One night after working on this document for a couple hours straight I got into this mind set of I can’t do this, I have so much left to do and so little time left to do it, it’s just too much. This train of thought started to cause me anxiety.
I talked to my mother and she told something very wise, as many people older than yourself do often when you start to listen. (The saying everyone has something to learn goes both ways in my opinion. I think everyone has at least one thing to teach). She told me this: “You have to realize that you are putting this pressure on yourself. You are striving to make this perfect but it’s causing you anxiety. You have to make a choice, either you don’t meet your high standards and hand it in the way it is or keep doing what you are doing if you think that in it will be worth it in the end. It’s your choice.” I am paraphrasing. My mother said this way more eloquently but the meaning is the same.
She reminded me that it’s all about perspective. I was the one putting pressure on myself. I was the one going above the expectations. So I could either be happy about my choice and keep working hard with a positive attitude knowing that when I finish it I will glad I did it or I could keep doing it while being miserable the whole time or I could even quit.
I am the type of person that when I make up my mind to do something, I do it! I am very pig headed that way. So I knew I wouldn’t be happy with myself unless I did this document the right way or at least the way I thought was the right way. Which left me with this question, do I do it happily or do I do it angrily?
This question is vital to remember. I am writing about this because I don’t want to forget it. In this world we live in we don’t always have a choice about what needs to be done. For example we need to work to make a living, we need to follow certain steps to get certain jobs, etc. (I am not saying there isn’t always a choice in every decision because I believe there is, but in society things are organized in a certain way so that various steps usually need to be taken to get where you want to go). One thing we can always change however is how we view things. If we make the best of it than the dreary might still be dreary but at least it is bearable, or at least it is doable. In some cases, with enough practice, I would like to think that hard tasks will become easier with a positive attitude and maybe, eventually, they will not be so hard.
So this is a new challenge I am giving myself. I would like to encourage others to look at hard tasks with a positive attitude and not give up on projects that seem too hard. Listen to yourself and believe in yourself. So much can be achieved if you challenge your idea of perfection and strive for what matters to you. While looking at what others expect of you is important, I believe it’s equally or even more important to look at what you expect from yourself. Think carefully about the expectations you have for yourself. Some people might realize that they expect too much from themselves, some people might see that they don’t expect enough from themselves (i.e. they do not believe in themselves enough) but I would think that most people would see a bit of both.
So to end this post I will tie in the main idea that I repeat almost every time I write on this blog: keep these ideas in mind and use them to make yourself more happy which in turn will spread more happiness and kindness to others so you can be part of a powered crowd for positive change!