Is fascination with perfection healthy for you?

“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfectionExcellence I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.” – Michael J. Fox

We all want the perfect life with the perfect job and the perfect car with the perfect house in which lives the perfect family. But have you ever stopped to wonder whether this fascination with perfection is healthy or not? Whether it is doing you any good or is it taking away something from your life?

Excellence is defined as the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. Perfection is defined as having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.

Just by the definitions, you can see that perfection seems like an enormous task. And it is! Just imagine how difficult it is to be ‘as good as possible’ at something. Even if we spent all the 24 hours of the day on perfecting something, it still isn’t quite possible to actually be perfect at it. Because it’s quite unlikely that even with the best of all our efforts, we will be able to attain perfection. Aiming for perfection is something like setting yourself up for failure because no matter how hard we try, there will always be something or the other that remains undone or ‘imperfect’.

And that’s okay. We really need to realise this. IT IS OKAY TO BE IMPERFECT. In today’s world, everyone is running after perfection. And while it may serve some people some good, it doesn’t do so for majority of people. The key to living a peaceful life is to not aim for perfection. Sound strange? Well, maybe it is! But won’t one rather be strange or a little offbeat rather than stressed and in-line for the very elusive ‘perfection’.

Excellence is doing one’s job very well, to the best of one’s ability. But perfection isn’t so. Perfection, more often than not, refers to standards set by someone else or the action of wanting to fit-into a pre-decided mould of what looks ‘great’. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, it does become an issue is when individuals start chasing the elusive dream of perfection and start ruining their health and overall lives over it.

I mean, think about it… is something really that important that you start losing sleep over it, start having unhealthy lifestyle choices and keep getting stressed over it? Issues like irritable mood, constant worrying, feeling low/ cranky, fluctuations in blood pressure, loss/increase in appetite… these are all symptoms of not being able to deal with constant pressure of performing or attaining perfection. And for what? To what end? It is something we really need to think about: at an individual level and as a society. What legacy are we leaving for our future generations if all they saw us do was being burnt out, overworked and under-slept?

When you find yourself in the rat race to attain the ‘perfect’ life, remind yourself of what Michael J. Fox said, that perfection is God’s business. Leave the worry, strain and tension of having the “perfect life” because last time anybody checked, it didn’t exist!

Article written by Juhi Jaiswal

Sewa done for Synergy with Energy

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Living a Life Of Purpose

Purpose is one of the most powerful motivators in the world. The secret of true passion lies in purpose. If you engage in a particular activity that doesn’t have a purpose, then there isn’t really a point to it, is there? It, then, becomes extremely difficult to feel charged up and enthusiastic toward the activity. When you are not passionate about the undertaken endeavour, you won’t feel connected to and fulfilled by it, isn’t it?

This is especially true of your vocation or that work which takes up most of your day. Our work is how we contribute to this world, how we add value to our environment. It is also a huge factor in how we feel about ourselves. Our self-esteem is hugely affected by what we do with our days and years spent on this planet.

In the past, we used to be content to have a job that helped us pay the rent and bills. But now we want and expect more out of our jobs and daily work. And this is true- not just of our jobs but of anything and everything we do… from the smallest to the biggest of things. But now things have changed, and quite a lot!

We now crave much more than just the salary. We want creative challenges, a sense of fulfillment, growth, joy and satisfaction and a sense that we are alive for something more than ourselves. In short, all we are looking for, in our lives is meaning and our daily work is what that gives it to us.

One of the best ways to find more meaning in your work is to creatively question all that happens around you. This will help you become aware of the impact that your work has on the world around you. You can ask questions like:

  • What is the impact my work has on the lives of associated with it?
  • How does my product/service affect my employees and customers?
  • Do my daily efforts make a difference in this world?
  • What can I do to live a better life and make the lives of others also better?
  • How can I contribute to help the society and whole of humanity too?

The more you are able to answer the above questions, the more you will be inspired to work harder and smarter. The other scenario is that your questioning will help you find areas of improvement that can be worked upon.

When you graduate from a somewhat basic, self-centric yet powerful inclination to survive – into a  heartfelt commitment to serve; you cannot help but thrive and not just survive. Your whole life-state will improve and uplift.

Being filled with a deep sense of inspiration, commitment and determination to make this world a better place, in whatever way possible is perhaps even more important than a quality like hard work or smart work.

Don’t regret having a half-lived life. Instead, start now and the world is your oyster! Your legacy begins now, not twenty years from now, when you “have more time”. Reflect on what you want your life to stand for. Think about what you want to gift this world. What will be different in this world because of your presence?

The time to find your purpose is now. The time for action is now.

Article penned by Juhi Jaiswal

Sewa done for Synergy with Energy

Achieving Greatness

Do you want to live an extraordinary life? If yes, here’s some insight into how that can be made possible:

One way to achieve an extraordinary life is to increase your self- awareness. And for this, self-examination is the first step. Explore your self. Reflect on your life. Try new things. Figure out what you like and what you don’t. Get to know yourself better. Learn about your greatest capacities, hidden strengths and biggest weaknesses. Gain an insight into who you are fundamentally as a person.  If you don’t know all this about your own self, then how will it be possible to go out in the world with your A-game?

Once you are equipped with this knowledge, you can create the magic that you were meant to create. Remember, you were born to do great things. You owe it to this world to shine and if you didn’t, this planet will be a little less of a place.

 Another way to achieve greatness is to set concrete goals. Goals are like the backbone of any attempt to succeed in life. And, goal setting isn’t valuable because of the reward you receive after you’ve achieved the goal. It is valuable because it changes you as a person. Whether the goal was to be a better runner or a better parent, achieving it improves you and makes you a better person. And once you conquer the mountaintop, it also strengthens you.

Often this growth is not obvious and happens at an invisible level. The work it takes to fulfill any goal leaves you with qualities like self-discipline, an in-depth awareness of your life and a discovery of your abilities and potential.

And yes, you may falter on the way to the top but if you really think about it; failing is a matter of choice. Yes, nobody “chooses” to fail. Agreed. But actual failure occurs when a person decides not to stand up, after falling or failing. Nothing can stop a person who is determined to succeed, who refuses to be kept down. All it takes is a decision from the core of your being that no matter what happens, you will march to the beat of your drum, that you will keep walking the path of your life….the path you have decided to tread on, irrespective of the issues that exist or the obstacles that crop up.  Instead of letting them become stopping stones, turn them into stepping-stones.

Another thing you can do is really focus on being great. Like anything that is worth achieving, greatness too requires us to pay attention to it. So, focus on having unlimited passion for your work…whether you’re a rocket scientist/ teacher/ postman/ parent/ spouse/ son/ daughter. Whatever you do, do it with love, sincerity and utmost dedication.. That’s the only way to be great, i.e. to infuse it with all these and wait for the wonders to happen.

Last, but not the least, create extraordinary value in the lives of others. Be truly outstanding in every element of your personal and professional life. Be there for people. Let them know you care. A great person isn’t great because he does great things. He is great because he does small things in a great way.

Article penned by Juhi Jaiswal

Sewa done for Synergy with Energy

On Absolute Happiness

“It’s pretty hard to tell what brings happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed.” ~ Kin Hubbard

Truth be told, we all want to be happy and all we want is to be happy! Yet, at some point of time, ora the other, we have found it difficult and challenging to do so. When we are surrounded by events that trigger negative feelings, our quest for happiness becomes harder and more complicated. And if it just ended there, perhaps things wouldn’t be that bad.

But sadly, it doesn’t end there.

For some strange reason, we have all started running a rat-race where we constantly compare ourselves to each other, not realising that at the end of the rat-race, no matter what the result, we will still be rats!

And aren’t two people completely unique like fingerprints? When the finger prints of one person’s left hand are different from his right, then how can two different people be in the same league and race? And how can their happiness levels be compared? Does it make any sense for someone to think “He’s so much more happy than me” or “I’m way happier than them”? No, right? What’s even the purpose of such a comparison?

I’m guessing that at some point you’ve thought that happiness is a distant elusive dream. On other days, you may feel that you are quite a happy person. Whatever the case be, whether consciously or unconsciously, we humans are programmed to seek happiness. To understand our quest for happiness and our success/failure at it, we need to understand what happiness means.

There are various philosophies in the world that talk of happiness. Many religions, world leaders, philosophers, thinkers, writers and poets have all expressed their views on it. This article is in reference to the Buddhist philosophy. The Buddhist philosophy talks about two types of happiness. One is relative happiness and the other is absolute happiness.

Relative happiness is something that is dependent on external things and entities acquiring, keeping maintaining and possessing them. Apart from buying and owning material goods, even relationships, honour, praise, glory etc can be sources of relative happiness because if these are taken away, we tend to get hurt, upset and sad.

E.g. When I buy a car, I derive pleasure by using it every day. Now, if this new car is taken away from me, I may feel upset or sad. This is the relative happiness. On the other hand, if I do not let this loss of a new car control my feelings of love, calm, peace, joy….then I am in a state of absolute happiness.

Despite the reality of the challenges of life, every single one of us can find profound happiness in our lives. Absolute happiness is independent of afore mentioned criteria (material goods, relationships, honour, praise, glory etc) and is unconditional.

Absolute happiness involves loving life and living so much, that no amount of adversity or suffering can sway us from our true nature of being happy. The goal is to draw on our own inner resources so that we establish a resilient state of life which is not influenced by anything.

It does seem like a difficult goal but with awareness, mindfulness and consistent effort, we can practice total happiness every day. We have the capacity to feel good and joyous and attain complete happiness, even in situations where we do not get what we want and desire. Often, our happiness has very little to do with receiving and a lot more to do with giving. Especially when you give to someone without any expectation of return, it is one of the most beautiful feelings in the world!

It is a dire delusion that happiness can be gained from somewhere other than within ourselves. If one truly wants to achieve complete and total happiness, then there is a need to look deep within… as to what is it that really makes us happy.

Is it taking care of a stray animal?

Is it serving others?

Is it making your kids better humans?

Is it helping a person in need?

Is it writing an anonymous letter of appreciation to someone you know?

Is it praying for someone else’s happiness?

Is it buying a meal for a homeless person?

Is it connecting with nature?

Is it strengthening your mental fortitude?

The three BIG questions are:

Do YOU WANT to be utterly and absolutely happy?

WHAT is it that makes you truly, completely and absolutely happy?

What changes are you ready to make to achieve Absolute Happiness?

Thoughts by Juhi Jaiswal…Sewa done for Synergy with Energy