The feverishness for perfection often makes you miserable. If you are vigilantly pursuing the perfection of things and situations, then you are bound to be anxious and angry.

It’s not possible for all things to be perfect all the time. Even the best, the greatest of actions performed with the noblest of intentions, can have imperfections. The tendency of the mind to hold on to the imperfection makes our feelings and minds imperfect and negative. Wisdom lies in getting out of these cycles and staying untouched and strong from within.

This world functions through opposite values. There would be no value to pleasure if there were no pain. Some reason or the other will always be present for you to be upset about. Sometimes, it could be the behaviour of a family member or a friend. Or it could be the neighbour who is causing problems. And if the neighbour is also okay, then it could be the dogs on the street who keep barking all night.

If you have made a habit out of getting frustrated, then no one can save you from misery. No matter how good a place is, you will still be unhappy if you are caught up in negativity. You can get out of it with your own self-effort and the help of knowledge of life.

The world appears imperfect on the surface but underneath, all is perfect. Perfection hides; imperfection shows off.

The wise will not dwell on the surface but will probe into the depths. In a state of ignorance, imperfection is natural and perfection is an effort. In a state of wisdom, imperfection is an effort; perfection is unavoidable.

You need to change your perception rather than trying to change the people or situations you come across. People have the right to be imperfect. You have no business correcting them. If you live in society, then it is only natural that sometimes you will get praised and sometimes blamed. At the workplace, you cannot expect your boss to behave in a way that is convenient to you. Suppose you have a boss who has taunted you three to four times, then you make a perception about him or her and start behaving in a reactive mode. This tendency to perceive imperfection in others creates imperfection in your own actions and inner space.

Acceptance means creating room for imperfection just like we keep space for garbage in our homes.

The only way ahead is to do the right action and accept people and situations as they are. The moment you accept a situation or a person, the mind becomes calm and you get a clear space to think and act rather than react.

Acceptance shouldn’t be mistaken for passivity. It’s all about taking proactive action with a calm state of mind. It is the ability to think through and act instead of acting out of frustration. The finest balance in activity is possible only when the right action is taken without a disturbed state of mind.

So neither get frustrated with people nor with yourself. Keep up your enthusiasm and act when it is needed and where it is needed.

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  • Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

    Global Humanitarian. Spiritual Leader. Peace Ambassador

    Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is the founder of the Art of Living Foundation and the International Association for Human Values which collaborate on humanitarian initiatives worldwide. Sri Sri’s work includes armed conflict resolution, U.S. Veteran PTSD relief, prisoner rehabilitation, addiction treatment, poverty alleviation and human rights advocacy. He developed a powerful breathing technique called Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) that makes use of the relation between breath and emotions by including specific rhythms of breath that harmonize the body, mind and emotions and help individuals find relief from stress. His programs have reached an estimated 370 million people in 155 countries.