What is the Life-Goal that you unconsciously operate under?
The life perspective that we have is important. If our Life-Goal is,
"Never make a Mistake,"
then life will be miserable.
There is no way that we can live without making mistakes, or doing something that is less than perfect. We are mere humans; we do not have the perfect vision and perfect wisdom of a God. Because of this, we are bound to make some mistakes. If we are driven to make no mistakes, we must constantly worry about our decisions. Here are 3 worries.
If it turned out to be a bad decision, we condemn ourselves and feel guilty.
All this agony, worry, and guilt takes a lot of time and energy! While doing them, they interfere, preventing us from moving onward in our lives. They prevent us from continuing our life's work, in whatever form that might be. How can we contribute while we are mentally kicking ourselves in the pants?
Example: The Perfectionist
I was substitute teaching in a computer class at another school. The eighth grade class was working on making signs, such as "Yard Sale ... " One girl was a perfectionist. She was trying to make the best sign ever made. She was agonizing over what font to use, what colors, what pictures, what border, - everything! "My Andrews, do you think this is better than that? Etc."
Mr. Andrews: "This is just a training practice to see if you know HOW to do the work. Any reasonable selection will do just fine, and will not hurt your grade."
Girl: "No, it has to be perfect!"
Mr. Andrews: "But if you take all this time trying to make it perfect, you won't get it done in time!"
Girl: "But it has to be perfect!"
The student never finished the sign, and probably took a zero (from the regular teacher) on the assignment! That teacher later told me the girl has a long-standing problem of perfectionism, and not completing assignments.
The following 5 items are better perspectives:
1. "That's good enough to get the job done, with the time I have available."
"It doesn't have to be perfect."
2. "Given my present degree of knowledge and understanding, what seems like the best course of action or decision for now?"
This perspective implies that we don't have all
the facts, and also that our decision is not being made for "all time
to come". If the decision turns out to be flawed, then you can ask:
3. "What have I learned from this, and how can I use it to make a wiser decision next time?"
We are adaptable creatures; we would never have survived as a species if this were not so. Because we are made that way, we can learn and change.
4. Life consists of a series of decisions that are all based on insufficient information!
Where should we live? We can attempt to analyze
each option. Unfortunately, there is no way to know everything that
will impact upon us if we choose to live in some particular place.
Fortunately, we are able to make changes later.
5. "It doesn't really matter much."
This is a very useful perspective. By it I mean that our everyday decisions and actions, in the long run, often don't matter much. From the perspective of our whole life, what many people consider as major decisions, really don't matter much. What is important is our sincere attempt to do good things. Where we live, what car we buy or how long we keep it, what volunteer work we do, etc., etc., etc., will not change much in the overall quality of our life. If they turn out to be really bad decision, we usually have other options, and can change.
- Mr. Andrews