Monday, September 16, 2013

Wabi-Sabi Living

Wabi-Sabi Living
One of the most vicious threats, deep at the core of people’s failure to properly exploit their talents, is a toxic little offender called perfection.
Perfectionists do not like surrendering or making mistakes. They don’t like failing, because that’s not perfect, or good enough. Here’s the news flash: Perfect doesn’t exist. There are no perfect people, no perfect world, no perfect place. While with the right energy and attitude, we can perceive everything to be perfect, trying to achieve that state is a painful pursuit. Criticism, judgement, rejection, and the black hole of indifference can squelch the brightest talents. Fortunately, we have other gifts that protect against these acts of sabotage.
The gift of learning: It’s painful to be scolded and corrected, yet the ability to take criticism well is a gift. In order to learn in a way that fuels our energy and builds optimism, we must be able to absorb good criticism and deflect hurtful and mean critics. We must also work on our ability to criticise constructively.
I’ve found it helpful to begin with an acknowledgement. One good rule – sometimes challenging, but worth attempting - is the 5:1 ratio, or five positive comments for every one criticism. Also, try to focus on the behaviour or action, not the person or their character. Mostly, when in critic mode, stay away from hurtful and get to helpful.
The gift of tolerance: I’ve had horrible things said about me: years ago, when I decided to put myself out for public viewing, so to speak, I made the decision to be judged. That doesn’t mean I have to accept it, though I make it a rule to focus on the judgement from people who know me. A big problem for many is that our affection for friends and family blinds us to their judgement. If you grew up in a codependent, dysfunctional family, then you’re going to accept a lot of negative judgement that will deplete your energy and make you negative. Opening up your world to healthy people and enlightening experiences helps you find better sources of growth.
The gift of fortitude: Rejection feels personal, but that feeling can be shifted with the right perspective. If you go out there and attempt to collect the no’s in order to get to the Yes! then you make rejection part of the process. You don’t go out and expect rejection – that’s defeatist – but when it happens, you accept rejection and move forward. Don’t allow rejection to kill a gift or an idea. WD-40 is said to be so-named because that was the number of attempts to find a formula that finally worked.
The gift of faith: While criticism, judgement, and rejection are hurtful, they are at least active, if negative, acknowledgements of one’s gifts. Indifference just means that the gifts are being displayed in the wrong arena – pearls before swine, as they say. The gifts of faith and certainty help us to stay optimistic and energised. If we truly believe in our missions and motives and we are celebrating our gifts by using them, then no amount of indifference can get in our way.
Think big
If you’re conditioned by negative criticism and harsh judgement, you may grow up thinking small and playing to lose because you think you’re not good enough to stand out from the crowd or even to have a life that goes beyond basic survival. That’s painful thinking.
The gift of unlimited human potential is yours as much as it is anyone else’s. There’s absolutely no logical reason humans needed to grow past our basic instincts and primitive living. Ambitions, desire, hunger and drive propelled us through evolutions and revolutions to the places we are now.
The gift of unlimited human potential begins with changing the conversation. If you wonder why, then ask why. Don’t let something be just because it’s always been. Too many people seek permission, follow others, and let tradition and “the way it’s always been” dictate their lives. Think big and without limits. When you get a progressive, exciting, energising idea in your head, it’s your duty to celebrate and exploit it.
Be less-than to get more-than
There are many areas in which we fail to live up to our gifts because we are afraid of being less than perfect.
For example, most of us don’t want to …
* Be wrong. In order to even attempt to change the conversation, you’re going to have to allow yourself to try out new ideas and thoughts. Sometimes these concepts will prove incorrect. You have to be open to being wrong. Opening up a dialogue, only to rationalise, defend, or justify it, closes down the avenues to growth.
* Look stupid. When you collect experiences that create the evidence you need in order to be confident, you’re going to look stupid sometimes. Being vulnerable and doing stupid things builds your lightness, humility, candour, and empathy. The best gift, in these cases, is your sense of humour.
* Keep falling. I’m an expert skier who learned through lessons and commitment. I was willing to continue falling. Even when I hit a level approaching ‘advanced’, which is certainly respectable, I kept going. Eager to experience more and more of a mountain, I needed to up my game.
Allow perfect to be perception, not reality, and every day of your life will be a happy one. Let go of perfect and you will let in a lot more excitement, energy, and optimism than you ever thought possible.



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