Make Peace with
by Richard Carlson, Ph. D.
From "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff...and it's all small stuff"
I've yet to meet an absolute perfectionist whose life was filled with
inner peace. The need for perfection and the desire for inner tranquility conflict with
each other. Whenever we are attached to having something a certain way, better than it
already is, we are, almost by definition, engaged in a losing battle. Rather than being
content and grateful for what we have, we are focused on what's wrong with something and
our need to fix it. When we are zeroed in on what's wrong, it implies that we are
Whether it's related to ourselvesa disorganized closet, a scratch
on the car, an imperfect accomplishment, a few pound we would like to loseor someone
else's "imperfectionsthe way someone looks, behaves, or lives their
lifethe very act of focusing on imperfection pulls us away from our goal of being
kind and gentle.
This strategy has nothing to do with ceasing to do your very best but
with being overly attached and focused on what's wrong with life. It's about realizing
that while there's always a better way to do something, this doesn't mean that you can't
enjoy and appreciate the way things already are.
The solution here is to catch yourself when you fall into your habit of
insisting that things should be other than they are. Gently remind yourself that life is
okay the way it is, right now. In the absence of your judgment, everything would be fine.
As you begin to eliminate your need for perfection in all areas of your life, you'll begin
to discover the perfection in life itself.