I often see a clever magazine article, or a beautiful photograph, or tasty food in a café and think: “Great, but … I can do better than that!” Even when I am judging my own creations, I still think I can do better. I’m rarely satisfied with my own work. For a long time, this resulted in major procrastination in starting new things (like this blog!) or else in not finishing them. If it wasn’t perfect, I had my excuse ready: “It isn’t finished yet!”
We all strive for perfection (don’t we?), but the thing is – that’s not the point! It’s good to want to do your best, but not if it means a choice between perfection and nothing at all. There are so many reasons why perfection is not the point, and it’s an attitude that’s best to adopt at the beginning. Check out Yoga Sutra 1.1: Atha yoga anushasanam – ‘Now, the teachings of yoga.’ For me, the most important word is atha (now). Yoga calls us to live in the moment, and to focus on doing something – now! – to improve our lives. To draw a wider lesson for life, and to put it in Gran-speak: never put off until tomorrow, what you can do today. Maybe you’ll be perfect tomorrow, but why wait?
Practice, not perfect.
I can’t demo each pose to perfection but my practice makes me stronger. The practice is the important thing. I had an idea in mind for the perfect picture, and here’s the result. I know what’s wrong in this picture, more than anyone else could possibly comment, but I’m choosing to put it out there. I had so much fun practicing and playing to create this picture. Maybe I’ll have another go, but in the meantime, I have something I can be proud of. It is my practice, not my perfection.
What do you like to practice? What have you been putting off?