You may have had the perfect meal recently, accompanied by a perfect bottle of wine. Maybe you had a perfect tee shot, driving it dead center in the middle of the fairway. Or maybe you had the perfect start of your day with time spent reading, exercising, and a healthy breakfast. But have you ever met a perfect person?
I don’t mean the perfect person for you; many have met their soulmate in life. And I don’t mean the perfect person to help you out when you needed it, like the perfect friend. What I am asking is, have you ever met a perfect person?
A person who is perfect in every way. There is not a blemish to be found on them or in them. They are never wrong. They have never made a mistake. They have never had a bad day or created a bad experience for anyone. They practically walk on water. Oh, well there was that one perfect guy who walked on water. But since then, who?
Like me, who is far from perfect, I am sure you have met a few folks along the way who believe that they are perfect in every way. When they are wrong, it’s usually someone else’s fault. When they are right, they are really right. And they usually prefer to keep company with friends who they believe are less than perfect, just to maintain an air of superiority. Believe it or not, some of those perfect people who are without fault even judge the rest of us at times.
Although you may feel like this column isn’t off to a typical “Winning Words” or positive attitude vibe found in previous columns, I assure you it is. You see, my hope is that I can take some of the pressure off of those of us who are less than perfect, reminding us that we do not have to be perfect, we can just be ourselves. People who love us will love us for our awesomeness, our mediocrity, and our faults. And they will love having perfect meals with us, helping us to finish off those perfect bottles of wine.
An acclaimed author and speaker, Dr. Maryann Rosenthal, gave us some incredible advice when she said, “Strive for excellence and not perfection.” That was sound guidance, especially for those of us who are striving so hard for perfection. This was an eye-opener for me because even though I have been far from perfect, I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to live up to that standard for myself and other people. And knowing that I was never going to walk on water, I chose to take her advice and strive for excellence instead of perfection.
Striving for excellence doesn’t mean that we will be excellent. Striving for excellence means that we will do everything we can to be better at whatever it is we want to be better at. Being better to ourselves and our loved ones, being better at our work, better at staying fit, better at looking at the world around us, and determining to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. And as we strive for excellence, sometimes we will achieve it, but if we fall short, we will have achieved more than we had ever hoped to achieve.
If you do happen to have a perfect person in your life, never let them judge you. They have no idea of the road you have traveled. But what you can do, is strive for excellence in accepting who they are, and refusing to judge them in return. If they are important to you, strive for excellence in loving them.
How about you? Are you striving for excellence knowing that by doing so it will elevate your performance? Are you wrestling with trying to be perfect? I really would love to hear your story at firstname.lastname@example.org and when we can remember that “Nobody’s Perfect” it really will be a better than good week.