There has to be more to life than waiting around to celebrate another birthday with a zero at the end of it. Right?
I had thrown down enough tequila shots to inebriate a bull while friends and family cheered on my shenanigans. , I had turned 30 years old. Where’d the time go? As fast as my 20’s came, bam! They’d left.
As the hangover subsided, I reflected back on regrets and missed opportunities, but that wasn’t my ideal way to celebrate another decade of being alive.
I felt miserable thinking that in ten years I’d probably be at the same place, celebrating with the same people, and having the same regrets.
Nope, I wasn’t going to repeat that scenario again. To let another decade zip by without doing something meaningful wasn’t good enough.
Years later, at 33, the dream chasing would commence, and two valuable life lessons would impact me and change everything.
Imperfection > Perfection
As the pursuit for more began, I’d watch new peers find success. At times, much faster than my own efforts were succeeding. I began to wonder, “What was wrong with me?”
Later an aha moment would appear. Invisible to me, it stuck out like a sore thumb to everyone having success, but I couldn’t see it. The truth was that I feared imperfection.
For years as a kid, I believed being perfect would bring approval. As children, we’re told we should have perfect attendance, aim for one hundred percent on tests. In sports, the coach instructs the team, “The goal for the season is an excellent record.”
As children we’re chastised for being less than perfect. Soon after we begin to believe anything less than perfect is entirely pointless.
Guess what — They were wrong. Hidden within imperfection are wise teachings that perfection misses.
Early on, this perfectionist syndrome sabotages success, but with the introspective awareness to override the sabotaging triggers, we move forward as we see imperfection is part of the process to embrace.
“Just get started,” was the battle cry that success driven mentors and peers taught me.
Change is Inevitable
In my 20’s, year after year things were the same. In my 30’s the greatest lessons were learned during a decade of constant change.
“Nothing endures but change,” said Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, known for his doctrine of change being central to the universe. He also stated that living cells are always trying to balance themselves out, even through constant change.
So, if we’re growing through constant change, should we embrace unexpected circumstances as great opportunities for growth? And should we welcome situations that stretch us?
From unexpected trials in my 30’s I discovered two things are certain in life, “Making mistakes is okay” and “Change is inevitable and necessary.”
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Photo: Flickr/Ross Thompson