How is your New Year’s Resolution working out so far? Don’t feel bad if it’s not, because getting started is the hardest part. Nobody’s perfect, and accepting that goes a long way towards attaining your goals. Persevere, and start (or continue), today.
I love the time between Christmas and New Year’s. The rush is over, and people start being nice to each other. New Year’s is approaching as people want a change. They are looking forward to the future in an optimistic way. During this time, it seems people are behaving their best.
After New Year’s Day, people slowly drift back to their regular routine and state of mind. I wonder if this happens after a number of encounters with those who are not being so optimistic. You may feel that your optimism is being eroded by other people‘s attitudes. It could be that you expect other people to behave as you would like yourself to behave.
A large part of being able to accomplish your goals of happiness and peace of mind is accepting that people are not perfect, and will not act the way that you would like. Unfortunately, there is no way around this. The only way you can change their behaviour is by improving your own, and leading by example. I really believe you can cause positive change in people, but only in the long run, not immediately.
Interestingly, you can use other people’s imperfection to help yourself. I am not talking about being complicit, giving up, and just doing what everybody else is doing. Rather, assume that they are working on themselves, and are trying to improve. They are not perfect, and you see that. Use this to accept your own deficiencies and imperfections. At least you really are trying. Accept your errors and keep on trying. Hopefully people will notice and try harder for themselves.
The idea of perfection in our society is all around us. You see it on TV, in the movies, on YouTube, and elsewhere. You hear it in parental expectations, children’s aspirations, client complaints, and managerial directions, to name only a few. In this post, I am only introducing the topic of perfection. It will come up again and again, in many forms. You may think others expect you to be perfect when they actually do not. You may be working in a field where most people really do expect you to be perfect. I will address all of this in future posts, but for now just consider this:
Expecting perfection, in yourself or others, will cause you grief.
Use the errors that you see in others to learn about yourself.