The Secret to Making Things “Perfect”

coaching gratitude mindset Nov 28, 2016

Our family hosted Thanksgiving this year, which means a lot of the logistics fell to me – cooking, cleaning, shopping, meeting all possible dietary needs, and so on.

The Monday before, I found myself being especially stressed as Kaya and Ty were getting ready for school. I even stopped to jot down an idea for an appetizer, right as we were walking out the door.

“It’s gonna be okay, Mom,” Ty said. He and Kaya were waiting by the stairs. “It doesn’t have to be perfect.”

“I know, I know,” I said, “but I want it to be good. I want it to be really special for everyone.” And patiently, they waited as I wrote “roasted sweet potatoes” (I know, really original).

Finally we left. As we were crossing the street, out of the blue, Ty said, “You know? I don’t even know why the word perfect is in the dictionary. It doesn’t exist.”

Geez, my nine-year-old is so wise.

“Thanksgiving’s gonna be great,” he went on, “And it’s really nice that you care so much.”

Sometimes, my kids teach me exactly the lessons I need.

Perfect doesn’t exist.

Especially as we enter into the holiday season, it’s important to remember that. In the next few weeks, a lot of us will get caught up in the perfect meal, the perfect gift, the perfect party, the perfect outfit – maybe even the perfect New Year’s resolution.

But what’s really important are the people, the relationships, the moments, the love and caring that’s shared when family and friends come together.

So this Thanksgiving, rather than aim for perfection, I decided to aim for gratitude. Right away, right there on the sidewalk, I felt a shift. Suddenly, I saw the upcoming holiday from a new perspective. I saw all the things I was grateful for, instead of all the things that might go wrong.

When you try to make every detail perfect, you can get obsessive about smaller and smaller things. Will the pies look okay? Will all the food be ready at the right time? What if the mashed potatoes aren’t creamy enough?

But when you plan through the lens of gratitude, you see the big things, the ones that really matter. Making my guests feel welcome. Enjoying this time with people I love. Celebrating this family and our time together.

(If you want to step into that mindset right now, check out our latest Moti Minute on gratitude.)

When we build on values instead of aiming for perfection, we preserve the meaning of the occasion. It’s the best way to really honor the spirit of what you’re doing.

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving. I’m sure a lot of it wasn’t perfect, but honestly, those parts aren’t what I remember. What I do remember is the laughter, the fun, and the love of my family and friends, and the time we shared together.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday also, and that your upcoming season is filled with all those things that matter most.

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