Perfection vs. Improvement


Sunday February 19th, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL

It’s time to take a step up. Again. In every facet of life. I’ve always said I don’t consider myself to be a perfectionist, but rather an ‘improvementist’. Chasing perfection will never produce the desired results, and is a futile pursuit in my opinion. It’s about improvement.

Steady and measurable improvement in every area of one’s life is a much more realistic goal, and very attainable with some concentrated effort. That’s what I’m shooting for, and it’s a never ending process. Just when one thing starts going well, something else needs to be tweaked. That’s how it is for everyone, so I’m not complaining. It’s how life plays out.

Days become weeks become months, years and decades. True success in life as a whole  is a cumulative effect. It’s a string of countless little victories strung together to produce a final big one. It’s a mosaic. I wish it hadn’t taken this long for me to grasp this, but it has.

That being said, I’m doing all I can to improve in all areas. It can be a daunting task, but what are the options? Some people just give up, and I can see why. Burying one’s head in a booze bottle or crack pipe might be a temporary fix, but it won’t get rid of the problem.

On the other hand, facing the hardness of life sober can also be overwhelming. Without any padding to numb the pain, life’s blows can be excruciating and also impede progress. It’s a constant battle to keep getting back up after getting knocked down again and again.

Sometimes I feel like I can’t get back up again, but others it feels like I’m bullet proof and can easily handle all the punishment life can throw at me and then some. Maybe I’m punch drunk after all these years, or just plain stupid with a little bit of naïve thrown in.

Right now, I’m feeling pretty good. I’ve absorbed a lot of punishment, but I’m also still in the game and not intimidated by anything or anyone. I’ve made it whole lot farther than anyone thought I would in life, and by all accounts I should be dead. Why am I still here?

I don’t know, but whether there’s a reason or not I’m going to make one. I don’t want to wander off into oblivion kicking and screaming like most of my family did. The image of my uncle who died this New Year’s Day screams loudly at me to make every day count.

If I’m going to keep improving as a whole person, I have to compartmentalize. Diet and exercise have to be a daily priority, but so do a lot of other things. Reading should be part of my daily routine, as should writing and creating. All these things suck up a ton of time.

So now it all boils down to the time management game again. It’s like a giant complex puzzle, and solving it would probably be easy if I had the cheat sheet. But I don’t. It feels like I’m wandering through life with both thumbs up my ass trying to hitch hike. I have to be ready to accept a ride when opportunity stops to pick me up, and that’s what I’m trying to do by looking to step everything up. I want my life to stand out in a crowd, and inspire other dented cans that there can indeed be a happy ending to a life that started out poorly.

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