Good morning! I hope you had a great weekend. I myself took a few days off from blogging and reading, and spent Saturday at Macy’s for a trunk show and ran my long run on Sunday morning. So this weekend was a bit off for me in terms of rest and relaxation. But I did manage to get a great brunch with Erwin for ‘date night’ on Saturday morning at the Bongo Room downtown. I’ll be sharing more about that later this week.
Perfect vs. Good Enough
Today I want to go back to the book I’m reading, The Pursuit of Perfect by Tal Ben-Shahar. I mentioned his suggestion about taking breaks every ninety minutes last week. Now I’d like to talk about another concept be brings up which often hinders perfectionists to varying degrees. As a former perfectionist, he had extremely high personal standards, and he held himself accountable at all times. But his intention to be perfect in every area of his life was obviously stressful and unrealistic. Impossible even. Nevertheless, he considered anything less than 100% in his life roles as a failure.
Once he addressed the flaws in his all or nothing approach to life, he attempted to become an “optimalist.” In his new paradigm, he recognized that there was not enough time in the week to reach 100% of his goals in every area of his life. And to try to attempt the impossible inevitably left him discouraged. So he chose to write out his goals for each role in a perfect world. After this list was made, he looked at the entire list and determined what was “good enough” in each area of his life. Below is an example of what might be my perfect and “good enough” standards.
“Perfect World” Exercise Weekly Goal
Run 5 times a week. Lift weights three times a week. Do yoga once a week.
“Good Enough” Exercise Weekly Goal
Run 4 times a week. Lift weights twice a week. Stretch after runs.
Though it seems counter-intuitive, he found by downsizing his lofty goals he not only achieved them more easily, but he also felt less stressed, happier, and more present in each area of his life. By acknowledging the limits of his time in each area of his life he devoted more focused attention the task at hand, rather than multi-tasking and spreading himself too thin.
I am going to take a look at this concept in my own life. I have a feeling that I might find some areas I naturally do this pretty well. But in other areas I can definitely improve. How about you? Anyone else feel like they might benefit from this exercise?
PS- In the spirit of “good enough” I will post last Friday’s End of the Week Exfoliation later today.