Posted by Tim Stobbs on December 14, 2015
Every once in a while I have a conversation with someone where I find myself looking at them like they are an alien. I just don’t understand their point of view or thought process to arrive at their conclusion. This likely has something to do with the fact I really don’t consider myself much of a consumer anymore. After all from a typically consumer point of view their spending tends to focus on: buying tickets, shopping or eating at restaurants. Of course from the other side of the conversation…I know they see me as the one with the broken mind.
In fact, they would be a fairly accurate statement: I am broken. I took a hammer to my assumptions in life and smashed them to bits and then rebuilt my view of the world over a number of years. I won’t lie…it hurt like hell. After all it is sort of mind blowing to realize just how much money you spent over the years on stuff that you can’t even remember now (for example, think back to to last time you ate out then go back two more times prior to that…what did you order? I have no idea either). Or the fact, despite our desire for control we really have almost none in our lives. I can control what goes on in my head, but after that my level of influence drops exponentially with ever inch away from my body. Or realize you did certain things because you thought you needed to but no one if fact cares about the size of your TV.
The advantage of smashing up your mind is you get to determine what actually matters to you and then plan your existence around that. The start of this may seem easy after all you can focus on what matters most to you. Yet over time you run into a particular paradox feedback loop. Your first decision wasn’t aligned typically with your last decision as such to fully optimize the your life you need to go back and align all your previously choices. Yet by changing your choices you also change the context of those choices, which then requires further adjustments to other choices. In summary, you realize you can NEVER have a perfect life since when you change any given thing you can have unintended changes to another part of your life. Change is an endless circle that can never be finished.
This is an important lesson to learn in life. Since once you have let go of perfection, you can embrace life as it is rather than endlessly wanting more to get closer to being perfect. In Matrix talk you learn…there is no spoon. Perfection is an ideal illusion with no grounding in actual reality. Reality is about seeing the world as it is rather than what you want. So I can stop buying crap since I know it will never make me perfect in any way. I will never have the perfect: hair, outfit, shoes, or room…instead I have what I have and I can either love it or get rid of it. Any other choice is really just a waste of time and/or money (which by the way is really the same thing since your money is just the accumulation of previous time devoted to making money or for investors utilizing other people’s time to increase your accumulation of money).
In the end I have let go of perfect and are trying to live more in the world as it is. It isn’t always easy but it does help a lot with the holiday stress…I don’t worry about the perfect gift but rather just one I think they will like. How do you let go of perfection?