Enjoying Imperfection

Enjoying Imperfection: Why Being Imperfect Makes Perfect Sense
imperfection

The title doesn’t make any sense.

Who wants to be imperfect?

Well, who wants to spend their entire life being unhappy? The answer would be no one. But, that is what you are likely to do if you are always in search of perfection.

Here, imperfection is not the opposite of perfection like good is the opposite of bad.

Imperfection here, is rather a “freedom from perfection”. That is what we all ultimately want – to be free from the chains of unrelenting perfection.

Instead, learn to fly on the wings that you have been given, not the ones that you believe everyone wants you to have. It’s time to let go and just “be”.

It’s not as easy as it sounds. Self-help books always talk about letting go but they never quite get to the instruction part.

We all want to rise above the morass that is grasping day after day for an unattainable perfection in every area of our lives.

Obviously some people have reached that point or they wouldn’t be writing books about it, right? Why can’t the rest of us join, too?

All we need is a bit of enlightenment.

So, here goes.

The objective of this article is to help you understand what imperfection and perfection mean.

Find out how to embrace your inner “imperfection” and be quite comfortable with it.

Cultivate the skills you need to make the most of yourself throughout your life as well as giving others the permission to do so as well.

Who are you?

How many of us have asked that question in the mirror?

Throughout your life you may ask that question many times.

What kinds of answers do you get?

Could it be that you have not grasped the importance of who you truly are so you keep asking? Most people think that they keep asking because they are not perfect yet.

Here’s a news flash: No one is perfect. As long as you are in this human skin, mistakes will always be made.

We are created on the “trial and error” principle. We find things out by learning.

The learning process involves trying, failing, trying again and finding a solution so we can move on. New neural pathways are created by experiences, good and bad, positive and negative. Accepting, that point, will begin the journey to true self-acceptance.

Many people look to others to tell them who they are. This is a mistake. Other people can summarize their experiences with you, but that is not all to your story.

Yes, every human being has a unique story. Even if you share some experiences with others, your perspective on them is never exactly like someone else’s.

In this life, we are burdened down with preconceived notions. Our parents may have believed them so we simply adopt them for ourselves.

What was the American Dream that everyone came to the shores of America to obtain? It might have been the white picket fence, a spouse and 2.5 kids (that last kid has a hard way to go).

In reality, that dream doesn’t fit every life. The “dream” is supposed to be subjective. It’s whatever you feel fits your best self, not a pre-formed mold that pops out perfectly happy people.

People have undoubtedly died without realizing that they were playing a role. Who they were meant to be was lost in who they were supposed to be or who they needed to be to “fit in”. It’s sad and also unfair. We owe it to ourselves to love and be loved for who we are. When you can love and accept then you can truly “belong”.

Living A Whole Hearted Life

Whole-hearted means with your “whole heart”.

How many of us have ever done anything with our whole being involved? We’re not talking about pushing through when you were tired. From the beginning, you pursued a passion for something with all that you truly were at the time. You hoped, you believed and you trusted.

That is really what we all want – to be satisfied with ourselves. It is not about material things, although the world would have you think so. If that were the case why do people who seem to have “arrived” succumb to drugs, alcohol, suicide or some other downward spiraling situation? They didn’t have to worry about money, so what made them so unhappy? Many think the answer is material because this is what they lack. They blame others for being weak over it but the reason is deeper than that. They didn’t feel validated or valued.

When you look outside of yourself for validation, you may find it. More likely, you will find a rollercoaster where sometimes you are in favor with others and sometimes you are at their mercy. That’s no way to live your entire life.

If you desire to live a full and whole-hearted life, it’s about your imperfections and embracing them.

Get started by studying on and cultivating “courage,” “compassion,” and “connection” in your life.

Courage

When people think of courage, they talk about soldiers, first responders and those who work in dangerous professions. These people do have courage and bravery. They exhibit “heroism”. It is the state of putting your life on the line for someone else. For many, it is the mandate of their job to be heroic. It takes a special person to volunteer for this type of courageous service.

The courage spoken of here is the ordinary kind that most people don’t take the time to sow into their lives anymore. It is the courage to stand up for someone else, to show your vulnerability where it might be ridiculed or to sympathize with someone else. This exemplifies the everyday courage that can impact the lives of every human being you come in contact with. That’s power, isn’t it?

Courage to be who you are allows others to do the same. What gets in the way of courage? Often it is shame or embarrassment or guilt. You want to raise your hand and ask for clarification in class but don’t because everyone else seems to “get it”. There are those preconceived notions again. You think “everyone knows what’s going on except me.” When you show courage and fight for yourself and raising your hand, others will follow suit. By the end of class, everyone is on the same page.

Compassion

This is a tough one. How many of us jump on the bandwagon of blaming another because everyone else is doing it? No one wants to be singled out as different. If society had its way, we’d all look, act and think the same. It’s like “Big Brother” is here. With the absence of compassion we lose a part of our humanity.

What is compassion anyway? It is acknowledging the light and dark places in our lives (mostly the dark places, we don’t mind if people stare into the light.) Then we are free to be there for someone else when they need a listening ear. Instead of holding a mistake over someone else, we can let them into our vulnerable places by sharing an experience that could help them. It gives way to understanding. We are taken into the breach with someone else without judgment, only to share their experience for their sake.

Compassion also works when coupled with boundaries. Holding people accountable for their actions shows a desire to help them to achieve their best. It helps you to separate what they do or don’t do from who they are. The opposite is often the case when we “shame and blame”.

Have you ever ridiculed someone for something they did? It could be a friend, a spouse or even your child. In sports, shaming is supposed to toughen up players by making them take criticism to whip them into shape. You might as well put their hands and head in the stocks and throw rotten tomatoes at them. The results would be the same. Ridicule demoralizes the person at the deepest levels. It attacks who they are – their identity.

Instead of helping it hurts them. You don’t look too good either. Your conduct is brought into question for haranguing someone in this way. When you set boundaries, people know you are serious. Kids that can’t watch television if they don’t clean their rooms are more likely to do so. Their motivation is something they want or praise or reward. Boundaries also show confidence in another person. You don’t want to dish out consequences so you do all you can to assist them in completing the task.

Connection

Social media is no excuse for true connection. It is communicating with others but not really getting to “know” them. That takes effort, courage and compassion. From miles away, you can say you would help another but what would you do when actually faced with a situation? Want to develop great relationships with coworkers, family, spouses and friends? Practice getting and staying connected.

When we take the time to invest in another life, our own lives are enhanced. What does it take to invest? It could be asking someone about their family. Show interest and actively listen when another speaks. See yourself in their situation. Suspend judgment as you listen.

Connection also means offering help. Did you know that there is a stigma placed on getting help? Just look at the number of mentally ill people on the streets. Families are reluctant to admit they have mental issues for fear of how others will treat them. In the same way, people who offer help can feel in some way superior to those that ask for it. This prevents them from getting the help they need when the time comes.

To live freely, we have to be able to embrace all areas of who we are. When you can accept it, then asking for help seems logical and necessary to live wholeheartedly and with purpose. And, you give all of yourself to help others without thinking any less of them for needing a hand.

Tips For Living Your Best Imperfect Life

Now that you know what you need to begin living a more fulfilling life (courage, compassion and connection), here are some tips to put those traits into practice. The only way to get them is to experience them.

Let go – This is not the same as giving up. What you need to let go of is the expectations of others for your life. Set goals for your life and challenge yourself. But, do so with goals that satisfy how you see yourself living. Don’t use someone else’s measuring stick to chart your path.

Love everyone, beginning with yourself – This is the biggest tip.

Shaming and blaming, jumping on the bandwagon, trying to fit in and other actions stem from not wanting attention paid to our flaws and shortcomings. Some people will compromise their values and beliefs to fit in and not be ridiculed by others.

What is the cost to your life?

Is it worth trading in for the opinions of other human beings just like you? Invest in yourself by taking the time to accept who you are in love. Then and only then can you find places and people to whom you “belong” as an authentic “you” and not a cardboard cutout.

Forget perfection – It is a pipe dream.

Each person has their own vision of what’s important to their life. Your vision is the one to hold onto. Find ways to live your life around it. Share it with others. Be vulnerable with it. Find out how to be the best person that you can become in the time you have on this planet.

Transform yourself – Everyone evolves over time.

The person you were yesterday is not the person you will be ten years from now and that is how it should be. What it shouldn’t be is you chasing an unrealistic expectation based on society or friends who would rather you reflect them instead of who you are. If you desire changes in your attitude, your body, your career or your family life, do so from a position of acceptance and love of the current state of things and not to impress someone else.

Trust yourself – Who knows you better than you?

Take a step in a direction. If it doesn’t work, then change course. Have faith in the process that is your life. Take the time to get to know your likes, dislikes, dreams, hopes, pet peeves and the rest. All of your other relationships stem from the one you have with you. It is hard to truly give to another person if you don’t first have these things within yourself.

Conclusion

We have a fascination with perfection. Instead of finding nirvana, most people find disappointment, anxiety, judgment and a face in the mirror that is not truly their own.

Who you are is more important to life (yours and that of others) than trying to fit a certain shape or mold.

The world is waiting for you and your unique gifts, talents and presence. It would be deprived of a shining light if you sell yourself short by conforming to the wishes of the world instead of the God-given potential that is waiting inside of you to burst forth.

Living imperfectly is not a flaw but a privilege. When you take the courage to be free and present yourself as you are, unconsciously, you give others the permission to be themselves as well. We all win.

Remembering The Names Of People You Meet

Remembering The Names Of People You Meet

When someone introduces themselves, do you remember his or her name? Is it important to do so? If you are like most people, within five minutes you will be scrambling to remember who you just met. You can improve your success rate in remembering.
Is remembering a person’s name necessary? After all, most people forget within seconds of being introduced. Why even bother going through the trouble?
To answer that question, ask yourself if it makes a difference when others remember your name. Knowing someone’s name shows that you took the time and that you care. It is a personal touch in the communication process.
This is one of the tenets of the classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. The book was written in the early-to-mid 20th century. It remains a big selling item to this day. Although the stories are rather dated, the concepts are eternal. Remembering and using someone’s name will get you noticed.
When you refer to people by their name, you instantly set the conversation to a comfortable and personable tone. It’s familiar and friendly. The people who you refer to by name are quite appreciative that you not only remembered their name but that you use it often.
If you aren’t good at remembering names, here are some tips. First, when introduced, say the person’s name as soon as they say it. For instance, if the person’s name is Sally, say, “it’s nice to meet you, Sally.” Try to use her name quickly again as you converse with her but try not to do this in excess. Make it as natural as possible.
You could also state that you know someone with the same name as the people you meet. This can get them talking about why they were so named (after the mother, father, etc.) When the conversation is complete, use the name again. Using the example above, you could say, “it was a pleasure to speak with you, Sally.”
It’s a good idea to keep a notepad with you at all times for when you meet new people. Shortly after your conversation ends, take a few seconds to record the person’s name so that you can refer to it later if necessary. Try to remember without the notepad, but you have it for reference, just in case you forget.
Use these tips to help you remember names. You will brighten peoples’ day when you not only remember but use their names.

How To Start Living In The Present

The Power Of Living In The Present

Most of us are so consumed by the past and the future that we forget to live in the present.

Living in the present may sound like a New Age concept, but it can be one of the most powerful tools for living your best life.

Most of us live our lives like we need to be constantly doing something to achieve success.

Each of us has our own definition of success and what we need to accomplish to achieve it.

Many look at becoming a doctor, veterinarian, dentist, banker or lawyer as achieving success.

However, there are many unhappy people out there that have reached that level of education.

Veterinarians are reported to be at the top of the list for the profession most likely to commit suicide.

The drive to constantly do something makes us distracted and keeps us so focused on the daily grind that we have little time for relaxation, de-stressing, or self-development.

The desire to stay busy and succeed can be influenced by trying to keep up with the success of others. The constant desire to make more money, acquire the latest, biggest or the prettiest keeps us distracted from recognizing what is really important in our lives.

Trying to have more material things frequently leads to a life of debt, forcing us to remain in this vicious cycle just to pay the bills.

The fear of losing everything if we slow down or refuse to see one more client can make us feel stuck and unable to change.

If you want to make a personal transformation, you will have to make a decision to start living in the present, so that you can regain your personal power and start living fully in the present.

Until you quit living in the past you will always have trouble living fully in the present.

Boosting Mental And Emotional Health After Age 60

Boosting Mental And Emotional Health After Age 60

This article will discuss 8 ways to increase social interaction after age 60 to help boost mental and emotional health.

A report in 2012 gave some insight into the effects of social isolation on seniors.

boostingmentalandemotionalhealth

   Boosting Mental and Emotional Health

 

According to the author, “social isolation is a major and prevalent health problem among community-dwelling older adults, leading to numerous detrimental health conditions … social isolation will impact the health, well-being, and quality of life of numerous older adults.”

Not only does social isolation have a damaging effect on life expectancy, it also affects our mental health too. Loneliness has been found to increase our risk of depression, social anxiety, addiction, as well as hoarding.

Older people who live in increasingly smaller worlds are particularly at risk of loneliness and therefore diminished mental and emotional health, which is why it is  important that a way is found to increase social interaction.

The following are 8 ways  to boost your mental and emotional health after age 60:

1. Invite Friends For Tea or Coffee

As we get past 60, it’s all too easy to assume that people don’t want us to bother them by inviting them around for tea, coffee, and cake. They’re growing old themselves and they have their own lives to worry about.

You’d be surprised at how much family, friends or even neighbors appreciate being invited round for a chat and some tea and coffee.

2. Go Back To School

Yes, back to school! At numerous colleges and universities, mature students represent around one quarter of the student body. It doesn’t matter how old you are because no one is ever too old to learn.

Taking classes online or on campus to get a degree  or just because you are interested will challenge you, boost your confidence and help you learn new skills.

3. Learn How To Use A Computer

We now live in the age of information, which basically means that computers have taken over young peoples’ lives. The problem for anyone over 60 is that you may have missed the boat and assumed that computers are simply tools for the younger generation.

However, a computer, no matter how daunting it might appear at first, is an incredibly useful social tool that connects you to the outer world. You can get in touch with old friends or even find new friends.

You can join online forums and groups and even go to conventions you never knew existed. It’s a fabulous way of staying in touch with people and opens up your world.

Moreover, your mental health can get a boost too if you try your hand at online games, such as chess.

4. Buy A Phone

You can increase your social interaction by purchasing a cellular phone. Most phone companies now offer monthly contracts, so you can pretty much talk to people on the phone for as long as you want. You can text message too, and even play games on it. Having a cell phone ensures that you will not miss any invitations for a social event.

5. Involve Yourself In Community Activities

Most towns have community centers that hold regular community activities for older people. These activities generally include singing, book clubs, bridge clubs, quiz nights, as well as bingo nights, and yoga groups.

Involving yourself in community activities helps to stimulate your mind and your emotional health and meeting new people is one of the most important action steps to boost your health and wellbeing.

6. Help Others

You’re never too old to learn, and you’re never too old to help others. If you have knowledge and experience that you’ve always wanted to share with other people, now is the time to do it.

Whether you decide to mentor a younger person or help out at a homeless shelter, your mental skills will certainly be tested and sharpened – no matter how rusty they were!

7. Plan Ahead

Sometimes we’re a little bit guilty of not getting much done during the week because we simply haven’t planned anything. We wake up in the morning not knowing what we’re going to do, and so we just drift through the day.

If you buy yourself a calendar and make plans for the week, you’re more likely to stick to them. Moreover, you’ll become more adventurous in your planning and may even consider doing something you’ve never done before.

8. Plan It!

Plan a month of activities that will you engage in. Get creative and write them down in your calendar or date book.

Get creative and choose fun and exciting new adventures, and ask friends to come along. Do this at the beginning of each month and stick to them as you would all those business appointments you used to keep.

3 Steps to Being a Better You

3 Steps to Being a Better You 

I am sure that no matter where you are in life or what you have accomplished you are constantly looking for ways to improve yourself or do things better.

There is no shortage of advice on how we can improve ourselves. This advice comes in many forms including mentoring, seminars, books, reports, articles and videos.

There is so much advice available as the net has evolved that it can be overwhelming trying to decide what you should spend your time on and what advice to follow.

If you took the time to follow everything you should be doing in self improvement, getting more productive, creating the life you want, you would probably have little time left to do anything else.

I am a big believer in taking any goal and breaking down the steps needed to achieve that goal. Then approaching things one step at a time until you achieve the desired end result.

The following is a step by step approach to being a better you:

Step 1

You really can’t make improvement in yourself until you understand what you need to improve on.

It is imperative that you know where you are and where you ultimately want to be.

So the first step is to make a list.

You need to make a 2 column or 3 column list.

The first column is what you want to change.

The second column is what you want the end result to be.

In the third column put the benefits of achieving the end result.

Listing the benefits can be very motivating in your quest to achieve your goals.

Step 2

Chose the most important item on your list to start working on.

Save your list, once you accomplish one thing you’ll want to go back and work on more, but for now, choose one thing.

If a bad habit is something you want to change, you will need to start working on breaking that habit.

If you want to be a friendlier person, you can start by smiling at more people. You don’t have to run out and start a conversation with everyone, but do start smiling more.

If you want to be more productive, exchange some of your free time and use it for work time. If that’s not something you’re willing to give up, then cut down on social media time and spend that extra time working.

Step 3

Work on this item consistently for a month.

It will take time to replace old habits with new ones, but you have to keep at it.

You may want to start journaling your daily progress to keep yourself in check.

Whatever ways you can come up with to start being a better you, do it.

Once you’ve consistently worked on this one thing for a month, go back to your list and add another item to start working on.

Don’t forget to keep up your new habit with the other things you’ve already changed.

It’s much easier to work on one thing, get good at it and then add one more thing. It’s a bit like juggling. When a person starts learning to juggle, they start with one pin or one ball. They get used to feel of it before adding a second pin or ball. They practice with that for a few weeks and then add a third ball or pin.

The key is to start mastering one thing before you add others.

Making positive changes in your life isn’t always easy, but if you follow this step by step, really simple plan, you will see results.

Self improvement requires a plan of action.

If you want to start being a better you, you need to plan.

Start making your plan, today….