Life is not perfect

Life is not perfect. We discover this truth early in life. And the longer we live, the more we see it to be true. In fact, the imperfections surround us in nearly every direction:

  • The world we live in is far from perfect:  Famine, war, disasters, tragedy and misfortune impact both the lives of those we know and the lives of those we’ve never met. Our world produces beauty, but it also produces great pain.
  • The people around us are far from perfect:  That annoying co-worker, terrible driver or insensitive neighbor.  Prejudice and misconception harm relationships while hatred and contempt have resulted in awful consequences from the very beginning of time.
  • And unfortunately, we are far from perfect as well:  We often get tripped up by temptation and addiction. We fight within ourselves to do what is right. And we know, deep down, there are far too many unhealthy tendencies that motivate our actions and decisions.

So life is not perfect. It never has been and it never will be. But this can be good news. It means we can stop pursuing the mystical, perfect life. It means we can stop chasing perfect skin, the perfect job, the perfect house, or the perfect spouse. It means we can find freedom to live within our imperfections.

In fact, the sooner we realize that perfection is not available to us in this world, the sooner we can begin living better lives because of the imperfections. Consider what the ongoing presence of our imperfection means. It means…

We can finally stop chasing happiness in perfection.  Happiness is not something to be attained when everything around is perfect—it can’t be. Instead, it means we can find contentment and happiness and joy even in the midst of defect. And when we begin to realize happiness is fully available to us today regardless of our circumstance, the better our chances become of finding it.

We can relate to one another in our weakness.  Once we fully understand that all people are imperfect by nature, we can stop pretending that we have it all together. I am imperfect and you are imperfect. So let’s stop pretending that we aren’t. Instead, let’s begin living authentic, vulnerable lives with another. For it is in our weakness that we find our greatest commonality and community.

We can fully admit that we need help. Because of our imperfections, we all have blind spots–tendencies that continually trip us up often without notice. These weaknesses and deficiencies are often seen by others—others who can help us overcome them. But not until we replace our pride with humility and seek the help of others.

We can learn to grow through our imperfection.  We make imperfection our servant by learning from it. We all live with past regret. And our past will always define our past, but it does not need to define our present. When we begin to accept and recognize our weaknesses, we put ourselves in position to begin learning from them.

We can faithfully work to make things better. This world is imperfect. And as long as it is inhabited by imperfect humans, it will continue to be. This realization ought to spur us on to help make this world better. Not only because the world needs our service, but also because we do.

We can better appreciate the good we see around us.  The mountaintops are high because the valleys are low. Without sorrow there is no joy. Imperfection brings beauty to the good. And because we know life is imperfect at best, we can find even greater joy in the little moments of triumph.

Life is not perfect, but it does go on. And when we learn to fully embrace both its beauty and its weakness, we create the opportunity to live fulfilled lives.  

Where To Find Your Fulfillment

In my coaching, I am fortunate to experience my clients discovering fulfillment in their chosen jobs and businesses as well as tapping into their full potential when these three components – talent, value and passion – balance together. This is my prescription as to how you find your best zone of excellence and power in your work.

Passion, Talent and Value for your perfect career and business

Jim Collins talks about the hedgehog concept in his book ‘Good to Great’. Businesses create great businesses when all these three components come together. This also applies to our personal career success.

Your Talent

What do you excel at? What does your business excel at? Apple may say it’s ‘innovation’. You could be a talented coder. You may be brilliant at building a team. You are likely blessed with many talents.

Your Value

How valuable is your talent? Some professions pay well and others don’t. Some business products and services are valued highly and some less so. The more scarce the service/product is, often the higher valued it is. The more desired the talent is, the higher valued it is. When you have a talent that is highly valued, this makes a good career and business niche choice. However, keep in mind, fulfillment may not be there yet.

Your Passion

What are you deeply passionate about amongst your talents? What is your business passionate about? What are your people as a group passionate about? It may be technology. You may love adventures and challenges. How about people’s fulfillment? That is what I am passionate about.

Perfect balance -Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

The Perfect Balance

So what is one thing (or maybe several things) that you excel at, that you are also passionate about and that people will pay you for? You will find your fulfillment when all three elements come together and balance.

Now financial success like fulfillment and balance is all relative and subjective. You may have multiple talents that you excel at and you may have varying degrees of passion for them. You may be paid differently for those different areas as well. It is the balance that gives you fulfillment and financial success and that is truly sustainable.

Bonus Element

You are fulfilled when all three components come together. Working with business owners and leaders in various fields, I find that leaders are especially motivated when they are clear about their ‘why’ and when they have a clear social purpose and make a positive impact on this world. It gives us the additional edge to our motivation and competition. What is your positive impact?

Finding a fulfilling career and work is everyone’s pursuit just like most people seek happiness. Whether it is your business core competence, niche or your career choice, these three elements give such clarity in our lives.

We spend half of our waking hours on work and it is important that we are fulfilled in doing this work. My best wishes with your pursuit.

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