Pluralizing perfection

How many ways can your life go wrong? If you’re like most people, you probably can imagine a ton of ways your life could go wrong.

Now how many ways can your life be perfect? If you’re like most people, you probably assume there’s only one possible way your life could be perfect.

You might not have a clear idea of what that perfect life would include, but you assume, mostly based on your definition of “perfect,” that there’s only one perfect option. If you miss that one completely perfect option, no matter how amazing your life is, it’s not completely perfect.

Or maybe you’re not that strict. Maybe you assume there are a couple perfect possibilities, maybe even a dozen. You say, “If only my marriage were strong…” Or, “If only I made 50k more per year…” Or, “If only I had that house on the beach…”

Well, I’d like to break that assumption. I’d like to start assuming that I have a ton of possibilities that all lead to a perfect life. Same for you.

Some call it lowering your standards. Because that’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re making “perfect” easier. You’re making perfect more possible. But saying you’re lowering your standards is the cynical way of putting it.

The optimistic way of putting it is to say you’re raising your thankfulness. So instead of just being thankful for one of two amazing things in your life, you start being thankful for many, many things in your life.

For example, consider these two extremes:

Option 1: My life is perfect when I make a million dollars per year, spend 100 hours per week with my family, vacation for three months out of every year, have season tickets to my favorite sports team, and am best buds with the President of the United States and his wife.

Option 2: My life is perfect when I’m breathing.

The first one needs all those requirements before being thankful for everything else, but the second one only needs to be breathing to be thankful for everything else.

Now, you might think the person with the Option 1 perspective is more driven to live a full life, and maybe you’re right (I’d argue you, but whatever.) The fact is, the person with the Option 2 perspective is the one living the better life.

Why? Because the person with the second perspective has made it easy to have an amazing life, while the guy with all the drive is making it extremely difficult to have an amazing life.

So that’s why I’m all for allowing a ton of perfect possibilities, instead of just one or a few. Make it easy to win the perfect life.

[And check it out, if you’re a Christian, that’s exactly what God does. He makes it insanely easy to live a perfect life by taking away all the requirements. How’s that for plugging Jesus?]