Perfectionism: When Beautiful Isn't Beautiful Enough
Coming from Schwarzenegger.com and written by Rob Sulaver, comes a post that really hits home on the values behind self-improvement & motivations. I highly recommend you click over and read the full piece there, but here's a few key points that stood out. He addresses the universal discontent with our bodies, no matter which state they are in.
"Nobody is satisfied with their body anymore. Literally. Nobody. Okay, that’s not true. I’m sure there are some people who are completely, whole-heartedly pleased with their reflection in the mirror. I’ve just never met them... And it’s not just girls. And it’s not just the overweight. We are all, to some degree, convinced that our body is underachieving.
Now let’s not confuse the issue here; there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the pursuit of “better”. Better is awesome. It’s well documented that progress is closely related to happiness; our general sense of well-being has a stronger relationship with our trajectory in life than our station. ...It’s the direction that matters most. We need to make progress. We should make progress. Progress is delightful."
He goes on to discuss the standards of perfection that are unrealistically portrayed through media, via photoshop. But rather than villanizing the magazines, he addresses the root cause of our discontent.
"Because if we’re honest, this isn’t a war on photoshop, this isn’t a war on consumerism, and this isn’t a war on glossy magazine ads....It’s not about the ad.
This battlefront is waged within each and every one of us, individually. At the end of the day, at the end of the commercial, at the end of the magazine, nobody can make us feel inferior about our body without our permission. The best way to change the ecosystem is to change our own psychology. We have the fundamental, inalienable right to look at a photoshopped god-like body and appreciate it while simultaneously cherishing our own body.
We don’t have to look like the manifestation of human perfection to be kind to ourselves."
And maybe my favorite point of the entire piece comes at the end, where he addresses the real need for most of American to actually lose weight and get healthy, not to feel good about themselves, but because their life & sense of self are intertwined to goal setting & achieving.
"If we say we’re going to do something and constantly disappoint ourselves, we come to think of ourselves as a loser. “I wanted to, but I didn’t.”
If we say we’re going to do something and we constantly deliver, we come to think of ourselves as a winner. “I wanted to, AND I DID.”
The goal-setting / goal-achieving cycle is at the foundation of successful living. All of our choices make us either more or less confident in the courage of own convictions. This is the virtuous cycle. The story of winning:
I see. I want. I grind. I get.
Or, if we’re being a little more realistic:
I see. I want. I grind. I don’t get. I grind again. I fail again. I fail better. I don’t stop grinding. I don’t stop smiling. I get.
This cycle will come to define our legacy. The accomplishment of our health and fitness goals is quite literally the training ground for the accomplishment of our life goals."
Read the full article hereto get the full unabridged awesomeness.