Questioning the Perfect Sauce.
Too often we set out in search of perfection: The perfect partner, the perfect mood, or the perfect job. But we never really stop to ask ourselves where these ideas of perfection came from... What is it that I am looking for? Why am I looking for that?
Perfection in this case is clearly a static idea. It is some expectation we have of the future based on past experiences. Essentially we are using the highs and lows of our past to define an objective for the future, all the while ignoring the present moment. We are trying to navigate through a territory that does not exist, using a map that is outdated.
This sort of goal oriented consciousness will run us in circles, which is to say we will always find ourselves right back where we started. Then having ran in circles for forty years, we wake up one day in the midst of a mid-life crisis, wondering what in the hell we have been doing for all these years!
This is not to say that we cannot be happy. Far from it! What I am saying is that we have failed to consider the causes and conditions that came together to create happiness. It is not as simple as just recreating a pleasant memory- it is simpler!
We enjoy life when we are present because that is where life is! Paying attention enables us to participate in the present moment. Not just participate, but be ourselves, and that is all anybody really wants- to be themselves. Being fully present, we recognize the infinite number of opportunities life provides for us to creatively express ourselves.
We ignore these opportunities to the exact degree that we subscribe to some specific idea of perfection. We become little more than a memory waiting for life to meet our expectations. All we have do is question our ideas about perfection. The perfect meal is not always fillet mignon... Sometimes enjoying a hot dog next to a camp fire is as good as it gets!
In the video below Malcolm Gladwell questions the institution of perfection. Gladwell is a journalist, author, and brilliant public speaker, with a knack for thinking outside the box. Using an unlikely analogy Malcolm Gladwell questions the idea of limited choices, and suggests that there are always tons of possibilities- even if you do not see them!
If you liked this you might also like these posts by Ben:
*The Intelligence of the Present Moment
*We have missed the point all along....