I think all of us in one form or another are active in the pursuit of Perfection. It may find itself in religious thought and practice, architectural design, personal relationships, social etiquette, self-belief and identity.
Yet alongside such a goal, is a desire to be natural and Authentic in all we do and want to be.
Perfection is to be the finished article, in every respect and at all times!
Authenticity represents something or someone that is completely genuine and not false!
How then can we maintain a desire for Perfection in the context of Authenticity?
Next week on the 23th April 2017 I will be competing in the London Marathon for a third time. It will be my ninth marathon in the last 12 years and I’m not sure that I have ran that perfect marathon yet! However, I am very certain that each run has been authentic for different reasons. My aim for this one is to complete the run in a reasonable time, injury free and sharing along the way a big smile on my face.
To aid that process I have used the Asics training app which has become my personal coach for the past six months, suggesting training plans that include times of rest. Many say that to get to the starting line injury free and in a good measure of fitness is an achievement in itself.
Yes I would like to run a Perfect race and time but in my own unique style and age related fitness. If I can achieve it, then on the ‘eve of that day’ I will be a very happy man.
Perfection in whatever form it takes has to be maintained. The grass is cut to perfection but then it grows wild again and weeds appear. The car is valeted inside and out only for passengers to dirty the seats and floor and the rain and mud on the road to take the shine off that once clean car!
Perfection in every instance is what many of us want? We may strive for that perfect goal and performance, enjoying the accompanying accolades, but so often we are only as good as our last performance!
The psychology and role of a coach in various forms is critical in maintaining motivation and that pursuit of perfection, whilst realising that in the training and development process we often learn far more from our mistakes than perhaps our perfections.
In recent years greater ‘human rights’ and ‘customer charters,’ have increased our expectation levels and when something goes wrong we demand a perfect solution. However, as we seek perfection from those that serve us, people we serve will demand an equal perfection which we all know is impossible to deliver and sustain over a consistent period.
The sports fan shouts in hope for victory but is disappointed in defeat or that underwhelming result. Yet they remain loyal, dreaming that someday perfection will take place and a sweet victory will be secured.
Alongside Perfection has to be Authenticity. If we do not work hard to maintain a measure of Perfection then the prevailing result will be one that is more natural and authentic and will have its own beauty within itself.
Thousands of pounds are spent in having our hair cut and coloured. Yet many people are more than happy with their natural ‘silver grey’ look.
In assessing such a hair colour we may conclude that it is imperfect and not fashionable. On the other hand it can be accepted as the authentic aspect to that person whom we love and respect, so they are ‘perfect and naturally authentic’ in their own right.
In being Authentic, our natural selves, what you see is, is often what you get. However. it is important to progress and improve. A great benefit in being more Authentic is that we may relax in the beauty of our own uniqueness with all its flaws and humanity. Also to be confident in our own natural beauty and enjoy such a recognition from those we live and travel with.
All the training plans my Asics app suggests are subject to any illness I may incur, difficult weather conditions that restrict running and certain diary dates that are more important.
It is vital for me to run my own race in my own way and feel a sense of being relaxed and authentic. Otherwise I will be like a running robot that might complete the predicted time, in a perfectly suggested training plan but has not enjoyed it or felt as sense of personal ownership. As I run London I will hold on to the words below.
So maintain a desire to be that ‘Perfect Saint’ in the making,
with a large accompaniment of our ‘Authentic self.’
Happy Easter Graham
Update 24 April 2017
I completed an Imperfect race with lots of Authenticity attached to it, especially some cramp at 23 miles. I recovered well to achieve a very respectable 4 hours 35 minutes and 45 seconds.
My recovery was good and I have been busy at work today with no injuries or concerns. Above all I really enjoyed the occasion. It was special to hear all the cheers and encouragements to help me continue to the end. So here’s to the next one!