giving it my best effort and striving for perfection are not the same

do you ever feel that there’s just not enough time to get everything that you want done?  it’s that feeling of being overwhelmed, overworked, overtasked?  or is it that feeling of wanting to do more and not making the time to do it?  hearing all the ‘should’s’ in your head, and not acting on them?

maybe it’s a matter of lowering those expectations of yourself.  living with the belief that you can do everything, and that you should do everything better than others, that in some way you should be striving towards perfection, is part of what i live with.  have a strong memories of neighborhood boys throwing rocks at me and telling me, ‘ching-chong chinaman go home’, and my mom telling me, not to pay attention to them, ‘that chinese are better’, i believed her.  and then my father would tell me, ‘if you work hard, you can always be better.  you can do anything you set your mind to doing. you’ve got to show them that you’re better.’

and so i was always trying to be that better chinese person.  haha! and if i couldn’t do something it was because i wasn’t working hard enough, so i would tell myself that i needed to work harder.

as i make adjustments to what i believe, it helps.  in other words, when i pause and remind myself that beliefs are dynamic and ever changing, and that i have control over what i believe, if what i believe defines me, then i probably need to make some adjustments.

my belief is no longer that chinese are better.  i can strive to be a better person, always, but that it’s not about proving to anyone that i’m better.  it’s believing in myself, that i can do things well. i’m not perfect, but if i work hard, good things happen.

it’s the belief that i can’t do everything that allows me to deal with not feeling overwhelmed.  i can do some things, and other things are out of my control, or i let others pitch in.  but my goal is no longer to try and do everything because i believe i’m better.  it’s simply, if i give it my best effort, and not expect perfection, i can accept others contributions as expressions of their love, and know that there are things that are out of my control, i can be content with all loving efforts, including mine.

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