Friday, December 18, 2015

being perfect vs. being perfected


With much trial and error, I am finding my way to a healthier version of myself more so than ever previously accomplished in this thing I call my life.  I have been pondering what makes this time around more effective.  The answer, while muli-leveled, is quite elementary.
I gave up on being perfect and became willing to be perfected.
My focus changed from arriving at a destination to enjoying the journey.
The first, the act of arriving, leaves little wiggle room for error.  There's an expectation to meet.  Nothing shy of that expectation is satisfying.
The second, enjoying the journey, means, as long as I am moving...stumbling...falling forward, I am making progress and, perhaps, even making time to enjoy the milestones along the way.
It may not be pretty all the time; it doesn't have to be.
This is the great thing about switching gears from being perfect to being willing to be perfected: what I do (or try to do) doesn't have to be perfect to be effectively bringing about changes.  The process of being perfected allows for hard, ugly moments to teach me lessons I am in need of learning.  It also allows me the freedom from having to keep up with a trainer...do as many reps or lift as heavy as someone else...or be a certain jean size...in order to be content.  Being willing to be perfected is simply me saying that I cannot do this alone and allowing someone to teach me how to become better.
When one is focused on being perfect, there is an urgency to see results.  Instantaneous gratification is sought. When results are not encountered in a designated amount of time, discouragement is waiting to step in, soon to be followed by its friend, giving up.  I'll let you in on a little secret...one does not become "out of shape" overnight or in a week's, or even a month's, time and one will not become "fit" in that time frame either.  It takes consistency in either case; consistently partaking in unhealthy habits or consistently doing something to improve your health over time brings the changes one experiences.
When one becomes willing to be perfected, there's a mindset that little steps in the right direction eventually lead to the final destination.  Trying and failing is countered with grace.  As the journey continues, one realizes results are in proportion to one's effort.  One's first taste of results gives way for wanting more, therefore, leading to more effort and more results.  Those results are like milestones on this fitness journey.  Focusing, now, on the next milestone, one does not lose sight of the final destination, but looks more toward celebrating the little successes along the way.  These milestone celebrations are closer together than the start/finish line ever will be to each other.  This gives way for a renewed sense of accomplishment and gratification for the work it took to get where you are over and over and over again, as opposed to just at the end.  Discouragement and giving up have less of a chance against a consistently encouraged mind, body, and spirit.
While both being perfect and being perfected are hard, requiring sweat and tears in my case, freedom is found in the process of being perfected.
Freedom
...from past mistakes.
...to find a pace that works for your body and schedule.
...to try and fail without considering oneself a failure.
...in celebrating non scale victories.
...to enjoy the journey, including all its ups, downs, wrong turns, and detours.
If I could do anything for you, I would want to encourage you to set goals, dream big, but be realistic.  Find your way by being consistent over time.  Challenge yourself to making your next milestone be the one where you love yourself enough to keep on going no matter the pace you choose.  Find people who are on a similar journey and encourage one another through the rough times; high five each other during the good.
And, as one of my favorite quotes says...
Until further notice, celebrate everything.
~David Wolfe~