They say life is never perfect and perfection does not exist.
But if life’s working out the way you want it to be, your dreams are finally coming true and despite all odds, you still manage to handle problems and obstacles with dignity, would you still say life is not perfect?
Last week, while browsing on blogs and catching up on latest news and happenings, I stumbled upon two pieces of articles that was somewhat similar AND thought-provoking.
One was by an Australian competitive body-builder, Taryn Brumfitt, founder of Body Image Movement, who lost all of her baby weight and went on to do competitive bodybuilding. The other was by Neghar Fonooni, founder of Eat, Lift and Be Happy, of whom I’ve been following for quite some time.
Around the same time last week, both Brumfitt and Fonooni uploaded a before and after picture of themselves. No, it’s not your typical ‘Before 200lbs’ and ‘After 140lbs’ kind of picture, but rather, the opposite.
On the left was a picture of them at their fittest (before), and on the right is another picture of them in a body they are proud of, slightly bigger than what they were previously (after) but in a body they were truly happy about, of which they feel reflects them most truly.
My first thoughts? Wow, that’s pretty amazing. But my second thoughts led me to questioning the fact about perfection and being perfect.
Let’s think about it for a second. If society did not define the perfect body, does that mean the body they’re in now is perfect? If we were to say their imperfections are perfect, wouldn’t that mean that perfect does truly exist?
In simpler terms, away from what others think and what society perceive, wouldn’t that mean that saying things like perfection does not exist is utter bullsh*t?
I think it is. And in the midst of it all, I found my reasonings.
PERFECTION IS SUBJECTIVE
Certain principles can be perfect to one person, while it is limited to another. Take Guy A who believes that scoring A’s for his college exam is perfect and Guy B who believes that simply getting a pass on his transcript is perfect.
Does that mean Guy B is somewhat more ordinary than Guy A?
Does that make Guy B a lazy person and can never attain success?
Does that mean Guy B will never live a perfect life?
Let’s now add this in. Guy A feels that doing other non-academic activity to enhance his resume, picking up night classes to gain specific knowledge and networking with others is not important and doesn’t really count to being perfect. He also feels that getting a great job after college with a good company will make his life perfect.
Guy B feels that starting his own business despite his mediocre academic achievements will shape perfection well in his life. He values volunteering, standing for the college Student Board, and travelling to enhance his life experiences.
Now would you still have the same answers if I asked those three questions again? Perhaps not.
Perfection is subjective. It’s curated by our experiences, thoughts and dreams. It’s defined by what we want out of life. And most importantly, it is different to the guy next door. It might not seem perfect if you compare it with someone else’s but if you get that mindset out of yourself, I think life can be pretty darn perfect.
CHOOSE YOUR HAPPINESS
Fonooni chose her happiness. Brumfitt chose her happiness. And to both of them, their children are their happiness. It doesn’t mean they’re advocating obesity and poor lifestyle choices. They still eat healthily, move healthily but at the same time do not mind having a cookie with their soy lattes, sleeping in with their children and skipping a workout just so they can finish sewing their kid’s tutu dresses. That’s their happiness.
In order to embrace perfection, choose your own happiness. No one else can do that for you.
Going back to Guy A, getting A’s will make him happy. For Guy B, just graduating and establishing his business will make him happy. Yes it’s different for both of them, but that differences are what makes THEIR life perfect for THEM.
For myself, writing, training, coaching and helping others get healthy makes me happy. Doing things I love every day makes me happy. As long as I know I’m doing things for myself because I want to and not because someone else thinks is right makes life perfect for me.
Perfection can exist if you choose your own happiness, work your way to that state of happiness and carve the story in your own terms.
YOU’RE YOUR ONLY EXPERT
Perfection does not exist because someone else tells you what perfect is. We’re wired to be that way from young.
“You have to score A’s to get into medical school.”
“Why are you jobless? Don’t you know it reflects you as a person badly?”
“Seriously, babe. If you want to lose weight, you gotta be on a 1200-calorie diet.”
But this wiring does not do us any good. Why? Because for the most of things, we’re doing it only because we were told to do it, not because we want to do it.
Now tell me, how many of us do things because we want to, not because we’re supposed to?
How many of us start exercising, want abs or even be ‘skinny’ because society values these type of body more than the body you’re in, but you know that exercising, eating clean and sacrificing all your other things in life to get there will make you miserable?
How many of us stay in a job because we feel like it is just the right thing to do, but you know that leaving your job and starting your own business will definitely make you happy?
For most of us, we aim for perfection because someone or something else tells us that’s the right thing to do. Stop doing that. The only way you can live a perfect life is to become your body’s and your life’s only expert, devoid of society’s expectations and what others think of you.
Be yourself. You are your only expert.
YOUR LIFE IS PERFECT
If you’re happy every day, contented with where you are now and you catch yourself saying “I can’t complain” more than anything else then congratulations, your life is perfect.
A perfect life is not a life full of money and material things.
A perfect life is not a life that society, something or someone else dictates.
A perfect life is not a life lived in regret because you never dared to do what you’ve always wanted to.
A perfect life is a life where you can be working your butt off to create something you don’t even know will work out because that’s what you truly want. A perfect life is a life where you do what you can to exercise because it makes you feel good, eat whole foods because you love how it energises you and at the same time balance it all out with social events and perhaps a slice of cake in the weekends because you know that that balance makes life fulfilling for you.
A perfect life exist when you’re truly and undeniably happy, occasionally stepping out of your comfort zone doing things you want and making the most out of it.
Two days ago, an old friend of mine asked me if there was one thing in the past I would do differently in the present, what would it be? For the first time confidently I said — I would change nothing. I went on to tell her that I’m happy with how my life turned out to be at this moment. It’s not perfect from the looks of it, but it’s actually quite perfect for me.
You have the freedom to say that. Stop working towards society’s way of perfection and start working on yours. It does exist. You just have to find it.
Do you think perfection exist? Or do you believe there’s no such thing as perfection? If there was one thing in the past you would do differently today what would it be? Leave a comment below.
Here’s to a perfect weekend. :)
Photo credit: Victor Nuno