The other day, I had an epiphany while out mowing the lawn.
As I scanned the front lawns of my neighbors, it occurred to me that two things go together like odd couples at a dinner party.
Excellence and perfection. They're not friends, nor are they enemies. They're frenemies. What's the difference between the two?
Charm and flair. That's what. I'll explain.
If you give up on the pathological pursuit of perfection in favor of excellence, you're exactly where you need to be. Excellence is charming. It's the perfectly flawed place where you always want to find yourself.
As I did my yard work, I realized that the pursuit of perfection causes migraines and ulcers, but seeking excellence suits your soul and frees your spirit. You no longer have to be perfect, you can simply be your best, excellent self.
Even the word itself just rolls right off your tongue. Excellent. It's perfect ... yet not. Excellence is the road to fulfillment. Perfection is the highway to horror. Have you ever dealt with a perfectionist? They are not happy people. They see one, tiny weed amid the rose bushes and they freak out.
If you're constantly seeking perfection and you're not happy, what's so perfect about that?
Free yourself. Trade in your perfectionism for a better model. Seek excellence. You won't be sorry. Excellence is better than perfection. When you're excellent, you can still be charming and humorous and have fun, but when you're perfect ... Ugh! Believe me, that's a party of one. In fact, it's far from being a party. It's a nightmare of self delusion.
We live in a fallen world which means nothing is perfect. Not really. The great thing about excellence is that it allows you - despite your hard fought efforts - to throw caution to the wind and see what develops. It allows you to add flair to things. You can't do that with perfection.
Perfection keeps you tied up to that miserable ball and chain. Perfection is overbearing. Perfection is uptight. Perfection is toxic. Perfection is a front lawn mowed by a Stepford husband whose about to go on a shooting rampage. Perfect? I don't think so.
This often occurs to me whenever I look at the front lawns of some homeowners. Some of these lawns are "perfectly" pruned and manicured. The lawns look like they were designed by Giorgio Armani and the flowers look as if they're manna from Heaven. Yet, while gazing upon these lawns, I also wonder about what's really going on inside those houses. What are they really doing in there? My guess is that life - while it may be great - is far from perfect. Is the obvious pursuit of perfection out front hiding something more unseemly inside?
Perfection is humorless and dead. Excellence is fun and lively. Perfection doesn't know how to have fun. However, excellence IS fun. People with perfect front lawns can NEVER be found frolicking out front. Ever. However, people with excellent front lawns do enjoy them. They just know how to tidy up and keep property values intact.
In the business world, this is called, "Project Management."
Excellence is the way to go. Live your life. Be free. Be excellent. Invite charm and flair into your life. Love your front lawn, but also live on it. That's what excellence does. Even if you don't always hit the mark on excellence, you'll have a blast in the process.
You'll be charming ... front lawn or back. But what do I know? I'm still using a lawnmower that has seen better days.