Joseph Campbell once said “We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about”. My question for you is, what does perfection mean to you? Does it mean having the best job, the nicest car, the best reputation, the best looking partner, the most money? Maybe it means always being happy or always having the right things to say. Whatever it is, even if you had all of those things, would there always be something else?
There is nothing wrong with doing the best that you can, and being the best person that you can be. Part of what makes life interesting is making the very most out of what you have to work with. So what is it that floods you with this drive to always do better, be better, have more? And at the end of your days, after all of your efforts, what will you have to look back on? According to the Bible, a man referred to as King Solomon wrote “I have seen all the things that are under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind”. I believe that there are two very different ways to strive for perfection. The first one is to follow your bliss, in a spirit of play-like an artist plays with the brush until she/he achieves mastery. The second type of perfection is only concerned with appeasing the ego and feels like work. What do I mean by “appeasing the ego”? The ego is your false sense of self, your illusions based on judgements you have placed on yourself. The person that you think that you are and the person you think other people think you are or should be. Underlying this type of illusion is a fundamental belief that unless you meet these conditions, you are not good enough, lovable, or acceptable.
Lao Tzu put it well when he said “What difference between success and failure? Must you value what others value, avoid what others avoid? How ridiculous!” If you are going to strive for mastery, at least do it for the right reasons, and do it in the spirit of play.
The truth is, in being in the moment, and following your bliss, you can find perfection-one moment at a time. Maybe not the perfect you thought you had to be, but who you were really meant to be.