Monday, July 23, 2007

Being Perfect

Type A personality? Work-a-holic? Overachiever?

Here is a book that gave me pause to think and helped me lighten my load for the journey ahead.

Being Perfect by Anna Quindlen.

The following is an excerpt.

... eventually being perfect became like carrying a backpack filled with bricks every single day. And oh, how I wanted to lay my burden down.

So, if this sounds in any way familiar to you, if you have been trying to be perfect, too, then perhaps today is the day to put down that backpack before you develop permanent curvature of the spirit. Trying to be perfect may be inevitable for people who are smart and ambitious and interested in the world and its good opinion. But at one level it's too hard, and at another, it's too cheap and easy. Because all it really requires of you, mainly, is to read the zeitgeist of whatever and whenever you happen to be and to assume the masks necessary to be the best at whatever the zeitgeist dictates or requires. Those requirements shape-shift, sure, but when you're clever you can read them and come up with the imitation necessary.

But nothing important, or meaningful, or beautiful, or interesting, or great, ever came out of imitations. What is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning to work on becoming yourself.

... listen to that small voice inside you that tells you to make mischief, to have fun, to be contrarian, to go another way. George Elliot wrote, "It is never too late to be what you might have been." It is never too early, either!

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