Perfection is the Enemy of Gratitude

“Often, perfectionists forget the importance of efficiency.” -Ismael Díaz Lázaro

​                                                    Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

Life is a lot like seeing your kids bake a chocolate banana cake without supervision. There will be mess…lots of mess. The dirty dishes will pile up, there will be sticky egg yolk on the counters and the dog will have flour on his nose. Like our kitchen, life gets messy and gooey.

One of the most unnecessary pressures we place on ourselves is seeking perfection in all aspects of our lives. Perfection at work. Perfection at home. Perfection with friends. Society has pressured us into always being better than everybody else. And, in order to be better, we have to be perfect.

Perfection is a stressful an unattainable goal. Once we learn to embrace imperfection, we will be happier, more peaceful and at peace.

Perfectionism does not mean you have to be complacent or less disciplined. It just means that you should be focused on understanding your intention behind the activity or process. For example, expecting your vacation to go off without hiccups is unrealistic since you have no control over flight delays, weather and service levels. However, if you appreciate that you are going on vacation and will be away from the daily hustle and bustle, then you will appreciate the vacation much more and worry less about what you cannot control.

Appreciating the fact that you have the financial means to go on vacation places you amongst a small group of people who can do so. This fact alone is enough for you to be grateful and appreciate what is in front of you.

Give yourself permission to sweat the small stuff less and only control what you can control and not focus on being perfect. Our dog, Leo, will eat a shoe and be sick for a few days. The raccoons will open the secure garbage bin, eat the garbage and leave a mess outside our house for all the neighbours to see and judge. My kids will pack a thousand tasks into their day and complain about being tired all the time.

I have zero control over all these things.


The only thing I can control is how I react to all this unpredictability and start to embrace the mess and chaos around me.
The messy kitchen will eventually get cleaned and I will enjoy the lovely chocolate banana cake.