The Perfection Perception

“Wow you have such a perfect job.”

“Your life is perfect.”

“Your [relationship, marriage, kids, world, career, friendships, family, neighborhood, choices…and the list goes on] is so perfect.”

The Perfection Perception catches a glimpse from the outside.

The Perfection Perception sees you at your best.

The Perfection Perception creates comparison.

But this is a distorted view.

The Perfection Perception doesn’t see the mess inside.

The Perfection Perception doesn’t see your doubt, worry, stress, and struggle.

The Perfection Perception doesn’t see the hard work, the failure, and the loss.

Beware of the Perfection Perception, it is a cloudy lens that creates separation and unnecessary comparison.

The Hard Work of Dreams


(Image courtesy of the One of My Dreams, and the road trip)

Sometimes our dreams don’t work out.

But dreams (goals, aspirations, how we want things to be) can fool us into thinking that the road will be easy.

We have this idea, so it should just happen right?

I want this or that, therefore it should become a reality.

Yes it may be a little work, but hey “I have been working on this dream for over two weeks.”

During a recent discussion with a close friend, we talked about how dreams are the result of hard work. The result (that dream state) is typically achieved after years of sacrifice and working a plan that made that dream a reality.

We laughed at how much we dream without counting the cost. Big dreams without counting the hard work it will take to make them happen.

The “overnight success” band dream. Fifteen years of crossing the country to work every small bar, festival, or venue.

The “retirement traveler” dream. Thirty-three years of saving, investing, and saying no to the daily temptations of purchases.

The “dream job” dream. Ten years of attending school part-time while working, raising kids, and unpaid internships to gain experience.

The “business start-up” dream. Thirteen years of finding a market, staying up late working on proposals, being rejected, making mistakes, borrowing money, trying to keep records, making a product or service, building relationships, inspiring trust, learning to ship, and trying to convince others that you bring value.

The “perfect parent” dream. A lifetime of relationships, negotiations, cleaning up, providing for, apologizing, correction and guidance, time, energy, and intention.

The “great relationship” dream. Seasons of distance, making time, grief, disappointment, non-response, frustration, misunderstanding, forgiveness, and rejection.

Dream away.

But know that dreams require something in return.

The hard work of dreams is what takes a concept or idea and makes it real.

It will cost you, but the reward is worth the hard work.


P.S. A few days ago marked four years for this writing dream. Just a few more decades to go…

The Decade of Training

Wander Tag(Image Courtesy of

Through a combination of coaching conversations, and reflections on my own life I have noticed a pattern. Many of us wish we were further along in our lives, careers, or relationships. We speak as if there is some place we should be, but we are behind in the race. We speak with regret and sadness as if we are currently missing out and life would be somehow different.

“I have been in this job for 6 years now and am in a rut and it feels wasted.”

“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, and moved from job to job and didn’t make progress.”

“School was not a focus for me, and I wasted those years.  Now I have to go back again.”

“Just imagine where I would have been if I didn’t squander those years.”

These conversations made me think of that quote from J.R.R. Tolkien. Maybe it is okay to wander for a little while, because those years are not always lost.

Instead of seeing those years (however long it has been) as a waste, maybe a perspective change would help. Perhaps we could view that time as the Decade of Training.

The Decade of Training helped form who we are today.

The Decade of Training helped us create goals and start to pursue them.

The Decade of Training helped us try different things.

The Decade of Training helped us know that failure is part of the journey.

The Decade of Training helped us learn to get back up and keep moving.

Those years in the Decade of Training are not necessarily lost, unless you give up and assume that it is too late to pursue the goals for your life, career (or second career, or third career), or relationships.

Most of us today will live into our 90s. To put that in perspective, when we reach 60, we will still have 1/3 of our lives ahead of us.

The real question is now that you have been trained, what will you do with it?