The Perfect Moment… (yeah right)
Thirumur David Kiran
I have come to conclude that this moment doesn’t exist. Sure, we can try our best to get things in perfect balance and symmetry in order to try to attain this lofted idea, but the great majority of the time all our efforts are in vain.
Come to think of it, I don’t think we can ever manufacture “perfect.” Now, before you judge my reasoning, please bear with me as I express myself here. From my observations, it seems that no matter how hard we try, we can’t create “perfect”. That doesn’t stop us from attempting, but our best efforts often lead to failure. The perfect date never seems to pan out; the perfect partner never seems to come across our path; the perfect job doesn’t show up at our doorstep despite all of our trying; the perfect time to act never appears when we want it to or need it to.
Simply put, we can never seem to manufacture “perfect”.
Yet, ironically, “perfect” seems to catch up with us when we are least expecting it. The perfect moment often catches us by surprise; the perfect date pans out at a time when neither party was attempting to make it perfect; the perfect partner shows up in the place where we least expected them to be; the perfect job jumps at us in the middle of a sales call or while perusing the morning paper over a cup of coffee; the perfect time to act turns out to be, in hindsight, the very moment that we acted—even though it didn’t seem perfect at the time.
What I have come to discover is that we must then go through life not trying to manufacture “perfect,” but rather to live life in the climate where “perfect” comes to us. We may not always be able to create a perfect life, but if we live in obedience to the guiding principles of success, those perfect moments will come and catch up with us. In short, we must seize the day.
Seize the day…We never know which opportunity may turn out to be the perfect one, yet we must take them anyways. Seize the day…We never know which date will turn out to be a perfect one, but we must do our best to make the most of each one. Seize the day…We never know which moment may turn out to be the perfect moment for a plunge or a lunge—or even a leap—but we must go ahead and take advantage of each moment, knowing that—in hindsight—one of those moments or opportunities will turn out to be a perfect one for us.
Seize the day!
I admit that I too often have let opportunities slip by because I was waiting for all the elements to be perfect. I have put off working out because I was waiting for the perfectly balanced schedule to fit it into; I have put off completing the writing of my book because I was waiting for the perfect time to get working on it; I have put off starting an advanced learning course because I was waiting for the right balance of projects to be able to accommodate it; I have put off appointments because I didn’t think the timing was perfectly right; I have turned down career and client openings because I didn’t think they fit in perfectly enough with the other things I had in the works at the time. And I have put off publishing this blog for almost three years because I was waiting for the perfect moment and article to lead off with.
Yet “perfect” hasn’t arrived in my life due to waiting on it and trying to manufacture it. “Perfect” will only come as I act; and act I must now.
I was reminded today about a story of a man who understood this principle very well. One Friday morning some years ago, an eager young man from Stanford University stood before the owner of a large company, seeking part-time employment.
“All I need right now”, said the owner, “is a stenographer.”
“I’ll take the job”, said the eager applicant, “but I can’t come back until next Tuesday.”
On Tuesday morning, the young man reported for duty, “Why couldn’t you come back before Tuesday?” the owner wanted to know.
“Because I had to rent a typewriter and learn to type!” was the unexpected reply.
That quickly prepared typist was Herbert Hoover, who later became the 31st President of the USA.
I am certain that his habit of seizing opportunities, regardless of whether he felt that they were perfect or him or whether he was perfect for them, is what kept him growing from the part-time stenographer to the President of the United States. And I am almost certain that he looked back on this experience as a change catalyst in his life—one that kept him achieving “perfect” through his life because he kept seizing the day.
Who knows? Maybe I’ll also look back one day at this blog and see it as a catalyst for “perfect” in my life. Or if nothing else, I will look back on it and see it as the turning point of my attitude from waiting for perfection to seeking to seize the day and watching perfection follow.
May you also seize the day—this moment, this hour, this day, this week, this month, this year! And may your desired “perfect” hunt you down as a result!