Everything in life is constantly evolving, changing, transforming, moving toward something new. And we are tempted so often, lured to status quo or to the notion that success or even being content is a destination. In working with clients and patients regarding life-goals, it seems to be the case often that they (and maybe we) can live in a place of dissatisfied perfection. The illusion might be that we seek perfection as though it were some kind of destination and in western society we are literally taught that being the best, doing your/our best, getting to ‘the top’ etc are all pinnacle achievements. We would suggest that such goals lead all too oftern to dissatisfied perfection because, for most humans, perfection is impossible to achieve. Robert Waldinger speaks to this illusive and crippling quest for happiness-as-perfection/best in his Ted Talk on “What Makes a Good Life?” We invite you to listen to part of his talk on lessons from the longest study on happiness:
It would seem from Walldinger’s research and other evidence that leaning into relationships is key to living a/the good life. Perhaps our clients’ search for perfection or wealth or high achievement are, as Hamlet suggested in Shakespeare’s play, “…these but the trappings and suits of woe.” Might our universal search for perfection in many aspects of our life create the woes we experience? What if we turned our north star toward satisfied striving insead of dissatisfied perfection? Is it true, as Dale Carnegie opined years ago that success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get? And finally, in working with clients on their behaviour transformation, how would it serve you – and your clients – to be mindful of and strive for the truism, ‘the power for change comes from the relationship we establish with our clients’?