Someone in your life expects you to be perfect. (Be honest. A face just popped into your mind.)
I write a lot about unrealistic expectations. Since y’all are here reading it, you’re probably familiar with the faces and words of serial disapproval.
Here’s the thing about Perfect: It’s a largely undefined and therefore largely unfair standard to have when dealing with earthlings.
Perfect does not equal Happy.
Perfect does not always equal Beautiful.
A “Perfect” life isn’t the same thing as a great life.
Outstanding, Mind-Blowing, Incredible, Remarkable, Thrilling, and Phenomenal? All attainable. “Perfect” is not.
For instance, I’m sitting in my postage-stamp-sized kitchen in a long tee shirt, no pants, munching on the bacon I just fried, my bacon-scented hair gloriously big and askew, typing this on a MacBook Pro with a cracked screen, and joy is here. It’s not perfect, but I’m having a pretty terrific moment here.
We want people to love and accept us and leave their ideas of “perfect” out of the equation. To accept our award-winning days and forgive the days when we spill a Sonic Route 44 in the car’s floorboards. To accept our smiles and overlook our snot.
The best way to enable that scenario is to pay it forward.
Admit it: you expect someone in your life to be perfect: your mother. Your father. Your husband. Your kids. Your boss. Your coworker. Your employee. Your client. Your waiter. Your pastor.
If you don’t believe me, imagine your closest friends and family. Now look them straight the eye and ask, “Do I expect you to be perfect?” If the idea makes you squirm, your love may have some unrealistic expectations. Those things are poison–and it’s a contagious poison. The good news is that encouragement is just as contagious.
Today, my challenge to you is this: Find a person — just one — who makes you squirm at the thought of asking, “Do I expect you to be perfect?”
Tell him or her that they matter. Tell him you believe in him. Tell her she has great ideas. Tell them you think they are headed somewhere that is very good.
Call out the greatness in someone else.
Things like that really do have a way of coming back around.