This is a guest post by Jeff Goins from goinswriter.com. I met Jeff online after I saw that he, a man, spoke at Blissdom in 2012. Whenever they invite a man to speak at a women’s conference I pay attention. I’m glad I did because I got to know Jeff, learn from him and watch as his blog grew like crazy. Jeff just released a new book, The In-Between, which I had the honor of endorsing. Check it out at inbetweenbook.com!
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you just might miss it.”
I have wasted years of my life and a lot of energy trying to get rid of the mess. To perfect imperfections. To fix the frayed and tattered ends of my life that never seemed to resolve. And I’m finally giving up.
Only recently have I learned how pointless the pursuit of perfection is. Since the birth of my son, I’ve realized something: All these seemingly ordinary moments, the less-than-remarkable times and things, are all we have.
So if that’s true, what do we do? How do embrace where we are, no matter where that is?
First, we must let go.
It took ushering a new life into the world (with the help of my wife, of course) to grasp the reality that I’m not in control. There is great freedom in acknowledging we can’t control every detail. Because a mess-less life is no life at all.
The word “perfect” means complete, as in not lacking anything. My desk may be cluttered, my waist might be bulging, and my calendar may be full, but what am I lacking? Maybe nothing. Maybe what I have right now, as ordinary as it feels, is enough.
Second, we must learn to be present.
As you already know, our lives are full of distraction. The world is teeming with messages vying for our time. It can all feel a bit daunting.
What I’ve learned, after encountering frustration after frustration and interruption after interruption, is that the way out of this madness is by embracing the little things. By loving the journey and accepting the inconveniences that come.
It means showing up to life and staying there, even when it feels normal. Especially then.
Third, we must practice gratitude.
Learning to let go and be present to where we are helps us pay attention to what we never noticed before. And as we choose to see with new eyes, we learn to be grateful.
A screaming baby in the middle of the night becomes a reminder that life is a gift. A messy kitchen, a sign of a healthy family. An over-crowded schedule, a challenge to slow down.
What happens when we do this? We start to see the world differently. We become thankful for the things we used to resent. We celebrate the ordinary.
That’s what happened to me. I’ve realized that there are no big moments, no huge epiphanies. There is only now and what we choose do with it.
In other words, this is as good as it gets. Right here, right now — in the middle of the mess. This is perfection, if we choose to see it that way.