Reflect on this for a moment:
There is a woman, named Savannah who loves to cook for people. She enjoys the process of cooking. She loves to see people smile when they taste her food. She also knows that she is still learning her craft. Sometimes the meals are not perfect as she had envisioned to make them. One day, she gets an opportunity to feed a hundred people as part of an effort to feed people who are in need of a hot meal. Savannah can and has previously made great meals for up to 20 people at a time but never for a hundred. This makes her nervous. She does not know how much time she would need to get such a large quantity of carrots and broccoli in the soup cooked to the right tenderness or what the right amount of spicing would be needed. She thinks that because of her inexperience, something may be off and her soup may not turn out to be perfect. Because she does not know if it will turn out to the highest standard she can aspire to, she hesitates and even considers dropping out of the project. She knows what a good soup should taste like and anything less is just unacceptable.
She goes ahead anyways, thinking,"ah, the people out there do not know her personally so will not judge me". With some help in the kitchen, she manages to prepare the meal. When done, she tastes the food realizing that it is edible yet slightly saltier than her ideal. Alas, it is not the perfect soup she wanted to serve! But it is too late. The people are already waiting for their meals. Savannah watched from the kitchen door as they are being served. There is utter silence. Everyone is eating. She dares to come out and watch on. Then she approaches a man who has tears running down his face as he is eats. She asks him, "Are you alright, my friend?" The man replied, "Yes, yes." He pauses and then says, "I have not eaten a warm meal in five days. And this is the most perfect soup I have tasted in my life". His tears were out of joy and gratitude.
Touched, Savannah goes back into the kitchen, closes her eyes and lets out a sigh. She knew that today she experienced a pivotal moment of her life. Thinking back, she was grateful that she took on the 100 meal project although she was so close to dropping out. She realized that it is not about perfection and it is not about being evaluated as being perfect. It is about giving her best. It is about doing what she can do because she realized that that is where perfection lies. And that is all that was needed.
~ ~ ~
Last week, we discussed how an unfinished project or a project waiting to begun takes up our precious psychic energy. And that the remedy for that is to consciously decide which projects we would drop off our list and which one we really commit to. Next, we need to take the first step and then daily take one single action toward the completion of that project.
But, I know how challenging it can be to take that first step. There are so many mental and emotional challenges that we need to surmount before we can even take the first step. One of them is the internalized pressure of perfection. We may say to ourselves, like Savannah, "I know what a good job looks like and if I cannot accomplish that, why even start." This becomes such a huge hurdle that many magnificent dreams and solutions to our problems remain in our heads or on paper as ideas, never to see the daylight in physical reality.
But it does not have to be that way. And there is a way out.
Give Yourself A Break
If you are dealing with this sort of mental thoughts, first of all, give yourself a break. You are not alone in this. Everyone has at some point thought this way because these thoughts are not your original thoughts! They come to you from the collective consciousness. So get over beating yourself up for even having these thoughts and know that you are human!
Perfection Is About Just Doing It &
Knowing That Things Can Always Be Better
Second, we need to redefine what perfection really means. Consider this. The first time you do anything, it is very rare that you do it to the highest version ever possible. Although beginner's luck does help us with new projects. But, just look at a baby taking her first steps. She falls. She stumbles. She is just learning about balance. Her first step is perfect in the sense that the perfection comes from the fact that the baby actually took her first step. And we realize, that it not about how well she can walk, or how long she can walk or how resilient she is in her walk. It in that moment, it is not even about her picking herself up again. The perfection comes from the magic and beauty of her taking that very first step. Would it not be ludicrous if the baby said, "Mama, my first step is not going to be as perfect as I envision it. I know I can do much better than stumble and wobble. I know I have got it in me to walk with regal strides and in a graceful gait- just like a queen. But right now, I cannot do that; no, not during my first step. So, I am not going to bother taking that first step. It won't even come close to fulfilling my high standards! Let's just drop it, okay?". I do not know of a single baby who would say that, if they are speaking in full sentences already by their first year, that is! ;-)
The Only Way To Move Forward
And third, the reason you need to take that first step is because that is the only way you can move forward. Yes, you can have high standards for yourself. Reach for the stars, dream big. I am a big proponent of the big vision. But no, your first step does not have to meet your high standards or your big goals - not yet. What you do need to do is to begin; however small the step, however clumsy that step may be. Just begin.
One Little Action Towards A Great Dream Realized
So if your dream is to own a cafe one day, your first step could be learning about the coffee bean or to watch a video of a barista making great coffee, or you an talk to a cafe-owner in your neighborhood about how she got started. If your dream is to sell-out big shows as a musician, pick up the pen and start scribbling a song idea, or play around on an instrument or go watch a music show. If your big dream is to create a sanctuary for to-be-euthanized and homeless dogs and cats and educate people about a healthy life of these companion animals, connect with someone who also has that dream. In this case, just write to me as that is my big dream. And as I mentioned in the last blog, there will be invisible and visible help coming to you. We live in a miraculous world and you are being assisted in every moment. In this way, your big dream will become a reality.
You Have Done This Before
Fourth, take a moment to reflect. Think back to a time when you just went for a goal, not really knowing how you would accomplish it but it happened. People and opportunities and inspiration came your way. All you did was to make up your mind and help arrived as if from nowhere. Remember that story, and write to me how that was. You will realize that you have done all these steps before and you can do it again.
Remember there is perfection in you making the effort. So what is your next step going to be?
To perfection in all - as it is,
With Gratitude, Love and Blessings,
Reflect on this for a moment: