“Progress, not perfection, is what we should be asking of ourselves.” (Julia Cameron) – as seen on a recent post at the Jack’s Winning Words blog.
Many people get down on themselves when they make a mistake; beating themselves up about it, rather than focusing upon learning from the mistake and trying to make progress in their lives. We have to accept the fact that none of us is perfect and that we will make mistakes or have failures in our lives. What we shouldn’t accept is that those failures or mistakes define us. What defines us is what we do with and about those mistakes and failures. Do we learn from them and turn that knowledge into the wisdom to not make the same mistakes again; or, do let those mistakes take us into dark holes of self-loathing or depression?
Every day is a good day if you have the right attitude. Even if it is a day filled with mistakes or failures, it was also a day of learning; it was a day when you discovered things not to do in the future and paths not to take again. Sure there might have been some pain; but as long as there is learning from that pain it was a day well spent. Perhaps it was even more valuable than the day might have been had you made no mistakes, had no set-backs or suffered no failures; but , from which you learned nothing new.
So, at the end of the day or the week, you should reflect on the things than may not have gone as you thought they would, the mistakes that you realize now that you made or the failures that you had and se what you can learn from those misadventures. You might even find that you can laugh about them now. It’s OK to say out loud to yourself, “That was pretty dumb”; so long as you are also seeing the things to learn from in those events.
The automaker Lexus used to use the tag line – “The relentless pursuit of perfection” – which they replaced with the new tag line – “Engineering the impossible”. I liked their old tag line and it is perhaps a great mantra to repeat to yourself as you reflect on and learn from your own mistakes; that your life is a relentless pursuit of perfection. Think of it this way; if you’ve never relented from that pursuit; then you’ve not yet failed. You may have hit some bumps in the road, but the road is still ahead and you are still traveling it. The good news is that you have a great guide along that road to help you, if you let Him. Just keep this little verse in mind from Philippians 3:12 –
“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.”
It doesn’t get any more perfect than that.
Keep striving and learning my friends.