In my last blog, I discussed how I am the type of person who is rarely satisfied with my accomplishments because I am always focused on reaching the next goal. I am the person whose good is never good enough and whose best can only improve.
Although I have achieved many goals by working hard, I have realized that there are times when working harder doesn’t help that is because there are times when allowing things to flow can be even more effective. It is a very difficult concept for someone who has used trying harder and pushing more as a method for success.
Working harder when something isn’t working is an approach I also use with my writing. It isn’t that the prose or the story is necessarily wrong or not good but they aren’t perfect. But it’s important to know that trying harder and pushing more will never yield perfection. Why? It is because perfection is impossible.
No matter how hard you strive, how many words you edit and rewrite, or how many hours you spend trying, perfection cannot be attained. There will always be a better word choice, a sweeter story and a book that sells more.
In fact, there mere trying for perfection usually results in less than perfect as well as becoming stunted and losing your own voice in the process. Instead, I am learning that although it is important to work hard, it is more important to trust yourself and your ability. Ah, but how do you do that? How do you let go?
Years ago, I spoke to a minister about faith. I explained that I understood the definition of faith. I believed it existed. I knew others that had it and I envied them because I didn’t have it. But I sought his guidance in finding it.
He wisely told me that faith is like learning to ride a bicycle. When first on a bike, you have no balance and you’re afraid of falling. You grip the handlebars tightly, trying to control the bike but you only manage to wobble, tip and finally fall as you realize you had no control. However, if trust yourself and the perfect design of the bike then you will stop over-steering, find your balance and ride. But it is only when you give over control that you will find your balance.
This doesn’t mean that you stop setting goals, working hard and trying to better yourself. It simply means that there are times when you have to give it up to fate, or God, or whomever you believe is greater than yourself.
I work on this everyday. Ironically, I sometimes try too hard to work on it. But I know that in the times when I have climbed onto my metaphorical bike and shouted to the sky, “Look God, no hands” that I was led onto some of the most wonderful and fulfilling paths of my life with nary a stumble or fall.
Causes Sherry Parnell Supports
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, Heifer International