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Fragments and Shrapnel: Examining Your Standards Part I

When my husband and I were buying our house, we began our search with a list of requirements. It was a long list but we were willing to negotiate on having a pool and a cabana/lawn boy to help with home maintenance. As we learned about what we could afford and what was in our price range, our list got shorter and I compared it to dating: You start with a list of what your ideal partner would be and eventually narrow it down to a warm body and a heartbeat. While we refused to look at condos or anything without a backyard, we did have to adjust our requirements. While I liked the general condition and feel of a house I dubbed The Flower Puke House (think pink couch and flowered wallpaper), I wasn’t going to spend hours removing the ugly wallpaper and pink carpeting.

This week I got an e-mail from an online creative services group that started their newsletter with an image of a permission slip. The slip simply said I had permission to lower my standards. Huh?  As a perfectionist, I often feel that everything I write has to be genius and perfect the first time out of the gate. It’s not very productive and doesn’t get me anywhere. Like most people, I would like to be more successful and make more money and be on my way to world domination. But I’m not there yet. Like a good Virgo, I sometimes beat myself up over this and really shouldn’t.

I thought more about the permission slip and my own definition of success. We all want to have the perfect job and life by the time we’re 40 but is that realistic? Is the bar set too high? Is really realistic to think you can run that marathon before you’re 40? How ‘bout a half marathon or even a 10K? As I discussed this topic with my husband he reminded me to think of it less as lowering my standards and thinking more about the standards themselves?

This blog post is going to be short this week because I want to continue it next week to highlight a fabulous interview that aired on A Closer Look Radio last week. The guest, Gina Amaro Rudan wrote a book about attracting and using your genius and setting goals for success. The interview really spoke to me and will to you. Have a listen here  and come back next week and we’ll talk about it.

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About Anna Alexander

I am a freelance writer and producer living in the Pacific Northwest. My husband and I live with our cat Grendel who lets us pay his mortgage.

One response »

  1. Maybe it’s in the definition of “success.” I think hubby’s on to something. Why must one strive for “perfect?” Why not just “live” or “enjoy the ride?” Why not go about life without necessarily having an end-goal in mind. What if you actually reach a vision of “perfect?” Then what? You’re DONE with life? Nothing more to do or see here? Keep adjusting the bar higher on yourself? It’s OK to relax, go with the flow, take what Life and the gods (or God – insert your choice here) throw you and just ENJOY! There’s something to be said for meandering through life without necessarily having Life Goals. An awesome goal (in my book) is to Live and Enjoy the Moment. Nothing more. Pretty simple. Makes each day a success in my book. And this is from a fellow-type-A-Virgo. You’re over-thinking. Enjoy the day – see the beauty of it around you. Sure, there are always things to strive for, desire to learn and accomplish – but don’t see that as the WHY for being here.

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