BY DR. RICHARD NORRIS
How many of us have stressed out because we could not find the perfect mate? Perfect does not really exist in the form we wish it did. And so, we set ourselves up for disappointment and frustration.
Human beings, by the very definition of such, are not perfect. We may try to be perfect in every aspect of our lives, from the way we look to the cars we drive to the grades we make, etc. But it really is not possible for any of us to be “perfect”.
Our constant pursuit of perfection results in an endless trail of broken relationships, broken marriages, broken families, broken businesses, and broken dreams.
I came very close to being a casualty of this quest for perfection. Until I finally realized the truth . . .
Perfection is an illusion.
In this digital age we can practically create perfection. Models can be airbrushed. Facts and figures can be fudged (and look where that has gotten us!). Marketing machines compel us to be perfect and convince us that it is a realistic goal. If we have the newest, the latest, the greatest we will then be perfect. That is, until they come up with the next best thing (think Apple or fashion). All of this is an illusion - just another step in the biggest illusion of them all - “keeping up with the Joneses”.
As I stated earlier, we are human and therefore we cannot be perfect. But that does not mean we cannot have the “perfect” relationship.
My wife, Nancy, and I got married back in ‘91. We courted long-distance for two years, seeing each other every 6-9 weeks. I knew going into our marriage that I was flawed...I just didn’t realize how much! Despite my being a work-in-progress, I believed I was perfect for Nancy. I sometimes think she hedged her bets and took me on as a challenge. She has proven to be very patient. As far as I can tell Nancy was and still is perfect for me.
Note what I just said. We were and are perfect for each other. We have the perfect relationship. And so can you.
I had a revelation a few years ago....
Nobody is perfect but we can help perfect each other.
That stopped me in my tracks. Then I had another revelation.
I have the “perfect” wife – perfect for me.
And you know what . . . when it comes to your partner, now or in the future, there’s hope for you too!
You may think I’m joking but I’m serious.
Nancy is perfect because she is in my life to help me. How? Well . . . she’s helping me to fully become the best version of myself . . . as a man, a husband, a father and a leader. She’s a mirror in my life reflecting the good, the bad and the ugly of me.
My part is to constantly be brave and honest enough to look in her mirror every day and really observe what I see about me – particularly, the stuff that needs improving. And there is always something - daily. Some of you, I expect, are nodding at this point.
Initially, marriage is the coming together of two imperfect people. In our marriage, Nancy and I don’t try to change each other. Nancy is very good at giving me feedback and I’ve learned to accept it and use it, and I am learning how to give her feedback on the rare occasion when she needs it. Nancy and I have key roles in helping each other to become the best version of the person we were meant to be. Whether you have a partner now or you find your partner in the future, the two of you will each have a role in “perfecting” one another. Learn to think this way about being in a relationship and your ability to “relate” will become much healthier.
A quick sidebar: At no point am I talking about perfectionism. If you want some insight there, check out this video.
The key is to realize that we cannot change one another; we can only be there to help each other make the changes we choose for ourselves. This is a profound point for all relationships in life and business.
We are in each other’s lives to help one another.
Our goal should be to help one another change or, even better transform, into the fullness of who we are meant to be. As in films and theatre, Nancy has the lead role in her own life and I have the supporting role. I’m in Nancy’s life to help her look and be the best version of herself! Likewise, I’m the lead in my life and she is in the supporting role. Just to extend this a bit further, children have added to our marriage. Our two have increased the number of imperfect people in our family. Yet, we all have a key role in each other’s lives.
We are perfecting each other.
All in all, we must allow this perfection process to occur.
Your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband or partner should be one of the most positive and perfect parts of your life. Together, ideally your roles should be to help each other to grow into the best possible versions of yourselves. Let’s face it; we all have some rough edges. Even the most brilliant diamond has imperfections.
The perfect partner is closer than you think. It boils down to making the right choices.
I choose Nancy to coach me. I choose, therefore, to be coachable.
I choose Nancy to teach me. I choose, therefore, to be teachable.
I choose Nancy to lead me. I choose, therefore, to be lead-able.
I choose Nancy to love me. I choose, therefore, to be lovable.
As I allow my wife to help “perfect” me, remarkably I also become a mirror for her. In this process I am also helping to “perfect” her.
I don’t know about you, but to me that’s truly amazing! That gets me excited each day and makes me grateful for the blessings in my life. Every day I truly thank God for Nancy and my family. I’d hate to think where I would be without them.
In the months and years ahead I hope you will choose to allow your perfection to continue, as I have chosen to allow mine to continue. Continue from today, knowing you are perfect for that special someone in your life and they are perfect for you too. Enjoy the lessons that come with your Journey of Perfection.
Your Power Play
Humbly accept that you are perfect for that someone else. Ask them to help perfect you.
Dr. Richard Norris
Richard is the founder of Leading Men Only, where he is fulfilling his passion to empower and equip men to be better leaders at home, work, rest and play. Richard has been perfecting himself as a husband, father, competitive swimmer, veterinarian, army officer, MBA, unemployed free agent and award-winning business and executive coach. He recently released his latest eBook, Get It Done! including his 101 quick tips to improve productivity and results. Richard lives by the adage a healthy body is a healthy mind. And . . . just so you know, he is a Canadian residing in Scotland!