Attempts at living the “Perfect” Life

Looking for the perfect place to rest in
Photo by Hal Ozart on Unsplash

There’s a loop that I often relive.

On its surface it comes out of a desire to excel. To shine. To live life at this imagined level of intensity and accomplishment that would make my life feel meaningful, feel successful.

But this loop has barely delivered on it’s elusive promises.

Instead, it has become an excuse to keep putting off living fully for this ‘perfect day’. Instead of fully engaging with the ups and downs that each day inevitably brings, it’s become an escapist imagination where the mind retreats into every time the ongoing day goes out of it’s idea of perfection. What simply happens is that whenever the day doesn’t go as I would have wanted it to go, I retract my energies, my involvement, imagine instead how I would deal with this setback in the most perfect way possible….tomorrow. And today gets written off mentally. Unacceptable in my insatiable desire to knock off perfect responses to life and it’s challenges, day after day.

Why do we do this?

Why do I do this?

I feel it’s because it’s far easier to emotionally withdraw from a game that isn’t going your way, and to play it again when you’re feeling better(always tomorrow), than to take whatever mood and energy one is in, and accept doing whatever needs to be done, at 50% capacity. Because 50% effectiveness feels like a loss. A defeat. Only 100% is what the ego craves as a victory.

Whatever be the excuse, the end result is perpetual procrastination and training the mind to give up, instead of digging in.

So what’s the solution?

To give up this conceptualisation of some imaginary perfection. To take all of the mental energy getting dissipated in comparing each passing moment against some conceptualised excellence, and divert all that energy into the Now. To take away the escape hatch that the mind runs into at the slightest sign of discomfort or the situation not playing out as the way it wants it to. To disconnect from joy of imaginary ‘perfect’ situations, ‘perfect’ behaviour, ‘perfect’ day….into the here and now. To take the focus from an ‘excellent’ outcome that gets me some stars from the audience, to the ‘excellence’ of input…putting my 100% into everything that I’m doing. Into every moment. The moment that is right here. Always is. Not the one in the future. But doing the best Now. In this very instant. The next moment will then take care of itself as I will reach it with a mind more focused on delivery 100%. Maybe I’ll only be able to actually deliver 10% right now. But by focusing on it, it could go to at least 11%. And then by regular practice, it can only improve, not degrade.

So the question is then not of how to deliver ‘perfect’ days, the perfection of which can be marred by the mistake of one unaware moment….but, how to deliver this moment 100%. If I missed, then here’s another one. And another. And another. No more waiting. No more procrastination. But living in the present moment. Not to enjoy some imaginary perfection…but to enjoy 100% living. Now. Here. What else is there?

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Attempts at living the “Perfect” Life

  1. In love with the raw truth so elegantly phrased. It’s a loop I personally find myself often stuck in. Each day a long to do list and expectations set(prolly not humanly possible unless a person is … god ) and then when one thing doesn’t go according to plan (maybe only 50% or 10% is achieved given how off the day is ) the entire day is viewed as a failure. Keep the posts coming !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are so right on about living in the present. Six years ago my uncle was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which has a 5% survival rate. He got through it by focusing on the now and saying things like, “I’m tieing my shoes right now.” He beat his cancer by keeping his thoughts in the present. Always a beautiful example to me. And I like how you tie being in the present to any uncomfortable situation, not just a life and death one. I love it. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s