Saturday, November 19, 2011

perfection vs. perfectibility

I had another great dojo day.  I love being there. I love the people there.  I love what I learn there.  What I don't like is how frustrated I get occasionally because I am slow to learn at times.

Today I asked Sensei how he deals with frustration. I meant this in relation to trying to perfect Kata.  His response was that he just realizes that eventually he will get things.  He said if you keep working at it eventually it will get where you want it to be.

This answer kinda shocked me.  Here is what stood out to me: his level of relaxation about having problems getting something right, his confidence in his ability to solve a problem, and how he didn't seem too worked up when I wasn't getting things right.

This level of stress free confidence is just not how I live my life.  I am more of the "get it right the first time or quit" kind of person.  Observing Sensei's attitude really made an impression on me.

My dad has a saying "perfection vs. perfectibility".  Truthfully he says this because he is a college art professor and it sounds cool in a Zen loving "Beat generation" kind of way.  But, truthfully in our family the rule was be perfect the first time or give up an abject failure.  This is an issue my husband is always talking to me about.  He is constantly trying to help me realize that most of my problems in life come from this attitude.  So, it was kinda great today to watch Sensei do Kata which looks so perfect and realize that how it got there was down to his willingness to start out imperfect and work some 30-40 years to make it perfect.

Then Sensei brought up my constant need to weigh myself.  He explained that it takes 30-90 days to figure out if something is working for your body.  And, that I really shouldn't be weighing myself more than once a month.  That made me really think.  Our friend Joe and I are probably going to re-start doing Weight Watchers around December 1.  This time I am really going to try to focus on establishing long term good habits vs. quick weight loss.  Also, I am going to limit weighing myself to once a month to see what happens.  Maybe I can finally learn to invest in  the process of perfecting things instead of being all upset because I am not perfect.


  1. Speaking as someone who's still working on it, eventually you just have to buy into the process. Ever hear the old saw, "The journey is the destination"? There's a reason it's an old saw. And that applies to, well, about everything :)

  2. I hear you Amanda. You are right. And, this information is coming at me in a million directions so it must be time to buy into it. Thanks!!
    300lbs. dragon