If you struggle with feelings of imperfection, it’s time for you to take a deep breath and look around you.
From the people in your life, natural objects outside your window, to the piece of pottery on your desk, nothing in life is perfect or will ever be – even though it might seem like it at first glance.
The mountains in the distance seem beautiful, but are they symmetrical? No. Are they austere? Rough? Absolutely.
The piece of pottery on your desk – that, too, might seem perfect at a glance, but have another look. The skilled human artisan forms the pliable clay into beautiful – but imperfect – pieces.
In life, we are all imperfect. Happiness comes not from pursuing perfection but instead from acknowledging and embracing our flaws.
The constant pursuit of perfection has many pitfalls, and it’s essential to view the world through a lens of imperfection. By abandoning the quest for perfection, we learn to find contentment with the imperfect details in life and realize that we can indeed be happy.
How to Live a More Connected – and Imperfect – Life
The Japanese have a term for imperfection – and for its innate beauty. The term is wabi-sabi, and it is deeply nuanced, lending itself to multiple interpretations.
Initially, the phrase referred to the loneliness of living alone in nature with few possessions. Still, the idea of wabi-sabi is more broadly regarded as the asymmetry of objects, the imperfection of nature, and the flawed essence of being human.
Embracing imperfection can help you live more content, fulfilled, and happy. Here are a few simple steps to take on your journey.
“In life, we are all imperfect. Happiness comes not from pursuing perfection but instead from acknowledging and embracing our flaws.”
1. Accept Yourself and Others
The business of life often throws you curveballs. Most challenges you face are uncontrollable but present personal discovery and growth opportunities.
Yamabushi monks in Japan have a saying for accepting all of life’s happenings – that saying is Uketamo.
It involves the crucial understanding that the sooner you acknowledge and accept the challenges in your life, the lighter and freer you will feel – acceptance to the core. Only then can you begin to grow.
Don’t throw your hands up and admit defeat in the face of adversity. Nor live in a perpetual state of bliss and worry-free tranquility. Instead, deal with the feelings of grief, failure, worry, and loneliness. You will find peace in your response – in the act of accepting and finding gratitude for what you have and where you are in life.
2. Recognize Excellence Over Perfection
Everything in nature is constantly changing – nothing is ever static. You can grow by recognizing that everything, including you, is imperfect, incomplete, and impermanent.
Imperfection is not harmful in itself, but it has negative connotations because of how we deal with it in our society.
There’s nothing wrong with striving for excellence – in striving to be better than the person you were the day before. You should do your best to become the best you can be – but also recognize that perfection simply does not exist.
3. Appreciate the Beauty of All Things – Even Those That Seem Broken
Finding peace with yourself and the rest of the world also requires you to appreciate the beauty in all things.
Even in things that are broken, there is beauty. Scars and fractures tell their own story – they show wisdom, experience, fortitude, resilience. These imperfections are, in and of themselves, undeniably beautiful.
There are so many times in your life when you will feel broken – do not hide in the shadows. Recognize that your failures or shortcomings are there to teach you something invaluable – they make you wiser. This recognition will allow you to embrace the beauty of imperfection.
4. Slow Down
We live in a fast-paced society that is always focused on more, more, more. It can be challenging to find beauty in everyday life when everything seems to go by you quickly.
Slow down. This will help you become more observant and to wonder and ask questions. You’ll become more present and in-tune with the world around you.
5. Be Content With All You Are
Another obsession of our modern-day society is in finding happiness – but happiness isn’t something to be found. It’s already there – you just need to be content with all you are to embrace it.
We often make the mistake of assuming that once we achieve a goal, once we reach our destination, once we “make it” – then, and only then, can we be happy.
There is nothing wrong with setting goals and striving to improve. However, our obsession with seeking happiness can easily blind us to what happiness is – it’s just an emotion. We are unhappy because we focus on the future and look outside of our lives rather than peering within.
Learn how to be content with what you have, where you are, and who you are. By expressing gratitude and intention in your daily behaviors, you will find happiness and contentment – and recognize the beauty surrounding you.
The Magic of Imperfection
To embrace imperfection is a step towards leading a worry-less and content life. Recognize that nothing will ever be perfect – nor permanent.
Whether it’s our appearance, relationships, achievements, or even possessions, the relentless pursuit of perfection fosters unhappiness and hastiness. Shift your perspective and revel in the imperfect beauty around you.
Things in life aren’t beautiful because they are perfect. They are beautiful because they are flawed – and they are unique.
Set Your Table
Our pottery is never far from human hands during production. Its character and imperfect beauty reflect the human virtues of the artisans who make it and those who eventually own it. Every piece is finished and glazed by hand, which guarantees one-of-a-kind pieces.