“Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.” – Stephen Hawking
As one of the world’s greatest minds passed away last week, it seemed fitting to use one of Stephen Hawking’s great quotes this week.
It’s so hard to embrace perfection, isn’t it? To truly be okay with something we want to be better, but isn’t? Sometimes, it’s even hard to honestly make the most of a situation and stay optimistic during tough times.
So, what can you do about it?
Well, today’s post has a few key ideas, some of which I’m working on myself!
Looking Up: The Big Picture
When I was deciding on a quote for today, I also looked at this one:
Remember to look up at the stars, not down at your feet”. – Stephen Hawking
In other words, this brilliant scientist (link) is telling us to be confident and look at the big picture, not solely the small world beneath our feet. To look at ideas beyond our comprehension, not only those directly in front of us. I have to say, some of the people I admire most in the world are those who have overcome seemingly “impossible” situations to become role models for those who face similar challenges.
Melissa Moody’s life changed when she (a former beauty model) was accidentally run over by a family member and spent 9 years in the hospital undergoing constructive surgery. The movie documentary Happy includes her story.
Bethany Hamilton, a professional surfer, lost her arm to a shark attack when she was 13 years old, only to be back on the water a month later and earn a national title 2 years after that.
Turia Pitt, an ex-model and extreme marathon runner was told she would never walk again after a grassfire incident burning the majority of her body during an extreme run. Stephen Hawking, whose life story is depicted in The Theory Of Everything, also overcame seemingly “impossible” circumstances to rise to the top.
Rather than focus on their imperfections, they embraced them. They did this in a way that I consider truly heroic, and would love to learn from.
What To Do If You’re A Perfectionist
If you read last week’s post on focusing on being done, rather than perfect, you know how I feel about this one!
Set goals, milestones and deadlines – and stick to them! Have a calendar and accountability buddy around to
Remember that done is better than perfect. Maybe it’s not going to turn out the way you thought it was, but achieving your goal to the best level that you can is still an accomplishment
Don’t Forget About The Tradeoffs – Focusing on one goal will inevitably mean taking time away from another one. As difficult as it is, try not to stress about this! Not everything can get done perfectly (or at all) at the same time!
How To Embrace Imperfection: 4 Steps
While I was researching for this post, I came across yoga blogs, writers’ blogs, and health and well-being blogs all with varying ideas on how to embrace the imperfections we find within ourselves, our work, others, and the world around us.
Now, I know it sounds a bit idealistic to suddenly love everything imperfect around you, but I’d suggest starting small. Trust me, I’m definitely not one of those people who has an easy time with acceptance.
1. Be Certain Where You’re Going
Actually, this is my favourite one, mostly because it seems to be the exact opposite of acceptance at first glance. However, I find it’s really true that if you have a determined attitude and find out where you want to en up, the tough obstacles become a little easier to accept.
2. Accept that the Road To Success Is Not Always Straight
Visualize a curvy, sometimes bumpy, sometimes smooth road. Instead of a straight path, think of your journey as exactly that – a journey. You may have to deal with some imperfections along the way, but you’ll get there.
3. Opportunities Are Often Hidden
Sometimes, our imperfections (what we’re not so good at, let’s say) help us the most. I’m finding this to be the toughest lesson of struggling through a PhD. By the time this is finished, I’ll have an wide range of skills I would have never thought I would need. Granted, I’ll probably shy away from some of them (ahem, programming) for the rest of my life, but at least the experience is there.
Perhaps it will lead to something great. Keep that in mind.
4. Learn To Laugh
Now, I can’t honestly put this one in here without a disclaimer – this is tough for me! Laughing at the ridiculousness of difficulty of some of the obstacles we face in pursuit of our goals. If you have tips on how to lighten up life, let me know 🙂
Well, that’s today’s short and sweet post! One of the major imperfections in my life at the moment is how little time I can devote to all you lovely readers (and how much draining energy I’m using to fuel my PhD!) So, please bear with the shorter motivational posts over the next few months, and know that some exciting times are ahead after that.
What imperfections are you dealing with at the moment? How do you cope? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Have a lovely and perfect Monday!
PS. The photo for today’s post (and poster!) is one I took near the water in Dubrovnik last fall
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