Kicking Perfection to the Curb

The Secret of Relaxation
(Pursuing Excellence Instead of Perfection)

There’s always a temptation to make perfection the ultimate goal. But at what cost?

Perfection can suck the life out of you and kill any chance of enjoyment. No matter what you portray on the outside, you’ll never relax on the inside if perfection is the trophy you desire.

Brooks recently asked me what percentage of families did I think had drama-free holidays. That is an idealized myth that doesn’t exist. It doesn’t all look the same, but every family has their own version of imperfection. 

There is no such thing as perfection in any area of our lives. If you think it’s possible for yourself or you assume it exists in someone else’s life, you are sorely mistaken. And you will drive yourself crazy obsessing over the pursuit of perfection.

Perfection is defined as being free from flaws or defects. If you are a human, guess what? You have flaws and defects. It follows within reason that an imperfect person can not produce anything perfect. 

Here's a thought: Let’s refocus the lens and strive for excellence.

Excellence demands the best from you and stretches your capacity. Developing excellence takes work and focus, but it’s simple. Here are four areas of focus that will set you on a trajectory toward living a life of excellence.

  1. Self-confidence. You must learn to believe in yourself. Everyone has strengths and admirable qualities. If you aren’t sure what yours are, ask people around you to identify the strengths they see in you. Once you identify things you love or excel at, do them! Let your confidence build.

  2. Be a life-long learner. Expand on your current skills. Learn new things when you have time. Social media and YouTube make it impossible to have even a single excuse not to learn anything. I took a writing course by Malcolm Gladwell on and I took a course on life coaching from Udemy. I am getting my master degree because it’s something I’ve wanted for over ten years, but learning doesn’t have to come from formal education.

  3. Stretch your boundaries. Do things occasionally that challenge you to do more than you’ve ever done before. When I started Copper Hive Consulting, the business consulting and management company I run for churches and nonprofits I had never specifically done that thing, but I knew that over a decade of working in the church and non-profit sector had given me the tools and capacity to continue helping other organizations develop sustainable ministry practices.

  4. Surround yourself with the best. One of my favorite podcasters, John Lee Dumas, constantly reminds listeners that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Stop and think about that for a minute. Are the people you’re spending time with feeding into your ambition? Are they giving you honest feedback, both positive and constructive?

There is no need to live in the tension of perfectionism. Relax, knowing that you’ll never be perfect and that there is a better pursuit. One you can actually attain. Be the best version of you and give 100% every day, every time.

Tools to help you relax

Weighted Blanket 

Essential Oil Diffuser

Sound Machine

The Little Book of Mindfulness


Check out Episode 48(soon to be released) for more on relaxation and the story of how my Christmas Day would go if I were with family.