Perfection is Overrated

Once you adopt that philosophy, life gets much easier. Yes, you want to be the best version of you -but that does not mean you have to constantly strive for perfection.  Once you accept that, the pressure is off. 

How did I learn that lesson?  Thankfully, it happened a long time ago when our son Jamie was in 6th grade. Aside from everything else I was trying to achieve, I also wanted to be Super Wife, Super Mom and Super Woman.  I had the “I can do it all –perfectly”—complex.

One day I was sitting in my office and suddenly realized that I was supposed to bake my “double chocolate surprise brownies” for a bake sale at Jamie’s school later that evening. At first, I was totally annoyed at myself for forgetting, at my assistant for not reminding me and then at my own stupidity for volunteering in the first place.  

I was just about ready to leave the office, run to the grocery store, go home, and scramble to make my incredible brownies. Why?  Because that’s what the  “perfect mother” should do.

I had piles of work on my desk –an important conference call in 15 minutes and a ton of  UndercoverWear things that were top priority. But the perfect Mother should drop everything for her son. Wait a minute! Jamie didn’t care one single bit.  How would my bake sale brownies positively affect his life? They wouldn’t.

Instead I stopped, took a deep breath, apologized to my Assistant for being abrupt.  Actually, “double apologized” because she had put it on yesterdays To Do List.  I just missed it.

So, what was my back up plan?  I called the local bakery, spoke to the owner and shared with him that I needed amazing brownies made fresh immediately.   I would give him my recipe and I needed him to bake a nearly perfect version of “my” brownies.  He was not to cut them in squares –I would do that later.  It didn’t matter what it cost. After also adding in, I’d bring him 3 pieces of beautiful UndercoverWear lingerie –it was an offer he couldn’t refuse.  BTW, one often must decide between spending time or money –but we’ll talk more about that later.

Now here comes the good part. I finished my UndercoverWear day, picked up the brownies, brought them home –cut them in not so perfect squares, put them on one of my plates with a sign, “Tiffany’s Fabulous Brownies” & brought them to Jamie’s school. When asked, “Oh, are these your amazing brownies, I said “yes.” I didn’t lie, they were my brownies—I paid for them, I just didn’t bake them.  So no, I was not the perfect Mother that day. But I was certainly resourceful and much more relaxed.  I had accomplished a great deal that day both professionally and personally. I realized I could take this experience and apply it to many facets of my life.

The lesson here is simple.  Decide what is REALLY important in your life.  Of course,  put lots of energy into those areas.  But no one is perfect.  And if you continually try to strive for perfection undoubtedly you will fail.  I know that so many women today talk about “multi-tasking”.  In my humble opinion, there is no such thing. If you are trying to do more than one thing at a time,  it’s probably going to take more time with poorer results.

Think of it this way.  You are in “Life’s University”.  You’ve chosen your classes. At the end of each semester, you can strive to be an honor roll student of your life.  So as long as you maintain a solid “B” average in everything that’s important to YOU, you’re doing a damn good job!  You’re going to get an A and sometime even an A+.  And some days, undoubtedly, you’ll get a C- and even the dreaded D. But it will all average out for you.

Last but not least, remember:

While achieving total perfection in everything you do is impossible and overrated—being damn good in what’s important to you is both empowering, exhilarating and rewarding.

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