Perfection is an illusion.
It’s an illusion of grandeur, one that all humans strive for, yet is unattainable no matter what maneuvers one takes. We live in an imperfect world with imperfect circumstances in a timeline that has literally billions, maybe even trillions, of possibilities. Every day when you get out of bed, you’re making a choice as to how your day will progress which could lead to any possibility, anything is a possibility.
Maybe this is a scary thought, the fact that whatever we strive for, we can have because of the opposite thought; whatever we don’t want can also be a possibility. Let’s break this down into laymen’s terms for easier understanding.
If you want to be a famous rockstar, every decision in your day is in hopes to one day playing Madison Square Garden to a sold out arena. So when you get out of bed in the morning, your mindset is already tuned to “How do I get my music to as many ears as possible?” You are thinking positively, you are tuned into the universe and you go about making plans trying to make your dream come true. Maybe you start off by visiting your favorite coffee shop, you crack open your computer and you aim to start sending emails to record executives with hyperlinks to your latest EP. However, instead of heading to your Gmail first, you head to Facebook because procrastination is easier than working on a dream that you know is near impossible. You start scrolling through Facebook, you start seeing your friends and their high paying jobs, they’re on vacation with their families and eating the best food in the world. You’re seeing a snapshot into their lives….their perfect lives. You start to doubt your path, you start second guessing your journey believing you should already be successful because you’ve already put the time in, you’ve already worked your butt off. You close your computer, finish your Chair Latte and head home to binge watch Mindhunter on Netflix and forget about working for the rest of the day because watching mind-numbing television is easier than working on your dreams. This turns into day-after-day until that dream of being a world famous rockstar becomes just that…a dream you had when you were younger.
Here’s the thing, your dream is important and working on that dream is even more important. The journey to success is the fun part, but also the hard part. This video I watched earlier from Bruno Mars details his journey from living in a one room house with no bathroom as a child to being a multimillionaire today. You might think, “sure it was easy for him, he has all the talent in the world!” Yes, he does have talent, but it’s not more talent than anyone else, his worth isn’t defined by his talent; it’s his hard workedness that defines him. His inability to stop pursuing what he wanted. He was dropped from Motown Records after a year and instead of wallowing in self doubt and giving up; he persisted and he persevered. Now he’s a house hold name and headlines arenas around the world.
My advice? Get off your phone, get off your social networks. Perfection is an illusion, all you’re seeing when you’re aimlessly scrolling is a snapshot into someone else’s storytelling. They’re trying to make others believe that their lives are perfect and nothing is ever wrong in their world. Social media is Pleasantville fully realized, everyone trying to pretend like their lives have no drama and nothing bothers them so here’s a delicious dinner I had while on vacation in Bali. Not pictured is the fact that their abusive partner just screamed at them on the drive over that restaurant or that they’re dealing with manic depressive disorder and aren’t sure where to turn.
The reason for this? We get little hits of dopamine every time we get a like on social media. In fact, according to this article from ama.org, “social media affects the brain in the same way that a hug does.” So every time we get a like on Instagram, it’s like a little hug to our brain that combats the feelings of every day life. It’s like a drug addiction that makes us feel better every time we get a little hit.
So, next time you start to doubt yourself or your journey, just know that we are all in this together. We are all going through life’s troubles together and there is no such thing as perfection, only resolution. And today, I hope you’ll join me in resolving to stop comparing my life to those I see online because I am special and you are too. Only you can command your journey and pilot your ship and without you, you’re just floating through life’s journey without direction. So instead, let’s all take control of our vessels and journey through this crazy thing called life trying to make the best version of “us” that we can.