Forget Perfection, Live Fully

Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash

We feel that we should take only those tasks in which we are perfect. We should not work unless there is perfection. We need to understand this.

Perfection is of two kinds: The first is the idea of perfection. There is a frog living in a well, there is a frog who has lived all his life in a well. The frog jumps from one place to another place in the well. Obviously, where else can he go. According to that frog, what would be the perfect jump? What would be the maximum distance the frog can cover in a jump? The diagonal of the cross-section of the well. The cross-section is circular and at best it can go from one point to another in the same plane. That is his idea of perfection. Remember it is an idea based on his experiences and conditioning.

What you call as perfection is just a thought of your mind which you have named as perfection. Because you know no better, that is why you call it perfect. Otherwise, what is perfect? Perfection is some distant, unattainable goal of which the mind has created an idea, an image. There is nothing called perfection. It is just an image. You know something, beyond which you do not know anything. You know only this much, just like the frog. You know there is a well and this is the diameter of the well, you jump this much and you call it perfection, and if you cannot jump this much you say that the jump is imperfect. And there are bigger wells and bigger wells and hence, larger ideas of perfection. But they are nevertheless still ideas, just ideas.

When we say perfection, our perfection always lies in the future. You will never say that I am perfect. You will say that I want to be perfect. Don’t you say that? You say that you want to be perfect. So, perfection is a goal for you. What is perfection for you? A goal in the future. Obviously, this perfection is unattainable. And if you will wait to get this perfection, you will never get it because by definition it is in the future and you are in the present. So, this perfection you will never get, and thus remain dissatisfied. You will always keep cursing yourself, ‘Oh! I am not alright, something is missing, something is lacking’.

There is another perfection as well. What is that perfection? That is the perfection of this moment, that is the perfection of living fully right now. That perfection does not wait for the future. That perfection says, ‘I am alive right now, life has been given to me fully and I live it fully. And to live fully is to live perfectly’. Now what does it mean to live fully? Life is right now, what you are doing right now. So perfection in this moment would mean ‘just reading’. It does not mean reading greatly, it does not mean scaling the heights of reading. It only means ‘just reading’.

Now this is quite amusing. The first kind of perfection is very, very difficult, unattainable and in the future. The second type of perfection is right now, in the present and very, very simple, easy. Just read, don’t do much. The first type says, ‘Do this, do that’. The first kind of perfection says, ‘A lot of effort is needed, more effort than you can give, that much is needed’. The second perfection says, ‘Stop any effort, just read’.

When you are reading, are you making a lot of effort? You are just reading at ease. Simple, perfect. Isn’t that wonderful? Easy is perfect. No? Then, is difficult, perfect?

Just doing the right thing. Simple is perfect. Easy is perfect.

But our mind has become used to struggling. Unless we get something after a lot of effort, violence and struggle, we do not think it to be of any value. It is valuable only if it is coming to me after a lot of struggle.

Perfection doesn’t require effort, perfection requires your simple presence. You might find it difficult to accept this because you have been bred upon the idea that perfection is the aim of life, it requires a lot of hard work and hard work is the key to success. And here I am telling you that hard work is the key to failure. Enjoyment is the key to success. Simple, pure and direct enjoyment.

Enjoyment is the key to success. Hard work is for the donkeys, please. Let it be for them. They work so hard, harder than anyone of us and they remain a donkey till their last breath.

The funny thing is that a lot of hard work is already happening. You may not realize it but since you’ve started reading, a lot of hard work has already happened but it has happened so enjoyably that it is not at all hard work. Don’t you do a lot of hard work when you play soccer? You burn so many calories but you don’t even realize that it is hard work because you are enjoying.

That is the secret to perfection-enjoy. When you enjoy, it is not hard work it is just perfect. The deeper the enjoyment, the deeper the perfection. And the more serious, the more gloomy, the more long-faced you are, the more you are away from perfection, the more you are away from enjoyment.

At no age can you afford to be serious. Life is not a serious affair. You become serious when you chase goals, you become serious when you are dissatisfied, you become serious when your perfection is in the future. But you become playful when you are here and now. Yes! Be perfect right now. Be playful, enjoy.

Acharya Prashant regularly writes at prashantadvait.com and to connect closely with his teachings watch his YouTube videos at Official YouTube Channel or visit his website.

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