I recently read two things that prompted this post. The first was a New York Times article about Chantal Bacon, a “lifestyle guru” who produces and sells some very expensive, supposed wellness enhancing, products. The second thing I read was the book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson.
So, what is it that drives us to spend outrageous amounts of money on products that promise to make us…what? Become one of the beautiful people? What are we really seeking? The problem, according to Manson, is that we set our reference points at unrealistic levels. Then, we constantly compare ourselves to those levels and end up unhappy about our looks, our bodies, our lives.
I’m slowly but surely losing my hair. I have a few more wrinkles every year. I have a few more aches and pains as time passes. I’m not thrilled by any of these changes. I could obsess about them. I could take every product known to counteract them, but I know I will never be as good looking or even have the hair of George Clooney. Well, George Clooney should not be who I benchmark myself against, and yet, the media and businesses trying to sell us products hold those unrealistic icons up to us and try to convince us that this is perfection and we should be trying to achieve this too.
The real take away note for us is that perfection is unattainable and the more we measure ourselves against perfection, the more unhappy we will be with where we are. Don’t let others tell you what or who you should be. There’s a saying, “Don’t let perfection get in the way of good.” Our search should be for a better us. Celebrate the successes and enjoy the journey of improvement. Learn, love, live life and be happy.