03 June 2015

Mastery vs Perfection

Mastery vs. perfection. Reality vs. fantasy, if you like.

Mastery is the reality of showing up, refusing to quit, keeping moving and committing to learning constantly. The Dalai Lama has been quoted as saying "When you lose, don't lose the lesson." If you are moving, breathing, committing to honoring your soul's contract of creativity and service, you are succeeding, regardless of the appearances of the result you have achieved.

Perfection is a fantasy concept at best. Obsession with perfection is the quickest way to kill all that that is beautiful and spontaneous.  It is handing over your creative autonomy to another person, or worse, to a memory of a teacher, a parent, a spouse, a boss, who evoked in you a reaction of fear and resentment. Striving to improve is a wonderful instinct, but it so often comes wrapped in an unhealthy habit of constantly pushing the goal further away. It is fine and admirable to strive continually, but once it descends into being a neurotic habit of denying yourself the feelings of mastery, it's a loser.

Mastery begets mastery. Are you aware of all of the things you master every day? It is incredible. Standing on two legs! Language! All of the complex and wonderful things you do. These are incredibly complex activities to master, but you have most likely been doing it for so long you don't think about it. But you should think about it, and acknowledge you mastery.  Feel it? Let that feeling of mastery inform your current set of challenges, and carry you on towards an ever-increasing sense of mastery. This learning will take place as long as you don't give up. You can change directions, change goals, but giving up is the surest way to lose.

The people around you don't want your perfection. Competency, probably, but not perfection. Perfection is a lie, a rabbit hole, a trap that you will be stuck in before you are aware of it. Don't go there.

Mastery is alive, situation-relevant, lovely.

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