I struggled with writing today. I couldn’t find the perfect opening sentence — the one line that would grab you and compel you to read on. The perfectly turned phrase. An ideal piece of writing that you would remember forever, and forward to your friends and family with a tear in your eye and a lump in your throat. The Great American Blog.
I just couldn’t get there. I had writer’s block. I was stuck.
So, I asked myself one of my favorite questions, “In the absence of the perfect solution, what are my options?”
In the absence of the perfect intro, my options were a) to not write anything, b)to just write something, c) to go shopping.
Just for the record, I chose b). As appealing as c) was. And I got unstuck.
When you’re stuck in any aspect of your life, ask yourself the same question, “In the absence of the perfect solution, what are my options?”
Being stuck is tough. Going neither forward, nor back — just standing in place, watching the world whirl by. Removed. Stuck.
Pursuit of perfection often leads to stuck-ness. “I can’t have guests until my house is perfect” or “I have to finish my MBA before I can apply for a new job” or “I guess I’m still single because I’m just too picky” — all statements in pursuit of perfection. All statements which keep us stuck.
Shooting for the ideal is what we’re taught from the time we’re dandled on grandma’s knee. “Don’t settle! Hold onto your dreams! You can be anything you want to be!” But the dark side to what your grandma told you is that sometimes holding on to the ideal prevents you from doing anything at all.
Which is safe. But stuck.
When I pursue perfection, I limit my vision to only that which corresponds to my narrow vision of “perfect”. According to advertisers, the perfect solution for any single woman is a hunky, hairless, pouting, slightly sweating guy who stares vaguely into the distance. Were I to hold on to that ideal, I would miss the OK-looking, kind, thoughtful, intelligent, slightly hairy available guy who would be a good partner for me.
Perfection is elusive. It’s a soap bubble of joy. It only exists when we’re not blowing too hard. Perfection is in the spontaneous hug of a four year old. It’s in the kindness of strangers. It’s there in a great big belly laugh. It’s in the last place you’d expect to find it.
Perfection ceases to exist the harder you look for it.
So, when holding out for the ideal prevents you from actually living your life, and keeps you stuck, know your options. Choose one that will enlarge your experience and allow you to grow.
When you do, you’ll stop being stuck. It’ll be perfect.