Something is wrong. I feel like I am there. But, I shouldn’t be. This is where I always wanted to be. But, I want to get out. I feel great I can’t see anyone else. That’s vain. I am so vain. So, I can’t be here. I feel better now. I am selfish. I am getting out of this place. Only an egotist would go to that place. There’s so much to change.
Everything felt right that morning. I had reached this elusive place known as perfection. I felt like I could control the breeze blowing over me. The stillness that takes over when I think about everything wrong with me was replaced by a new stillness: of being unshakeable.
Perfection can make you both over-confident and over-cautious, both extremely ambitious and extremely annoying, both unsatisfied and unaccepting. Yet, perfection is also a brief space of blissful ignorance and unencumbered comfort. It’s the destination in the journey ahead. But bliss, comfort, and destination don’t mean you’ve arrived. It means you’ve settled. And by now, we know that we should never settle.
There’s something about settling that makes us look lazy and pathetic. On those rare days when I wake up feeling everything is just perfect, I also become very scared. I feel guilty instead of grateful. Like I don’t deserve to feel that good. Like I don’t belong in this place where everything is perfect. It makes me feel like I have settled. Therefore I find ways to get out of that settled-state fast. That’s what I did that morning. I wanted to go back to having this vague and gnawing feeling that something unexpectedly extraordinary was expected of me.
We relish the need to constantly change and improve. It makes us feel like we are onto something important. Whenever we manage to make a change, we move on to changing something else because there’s so much left to change. We have been told over and over again that it’s the journey that matters. Over time, we develop this love-hate relationship with the journey while the destination becomes this weird unknown that you shouldn’t get to, but only chase. In a twisted way, in chasing perfection, what we really begin to chase is one imperfection after another.
That’s why you need to settle. Settle into the state of ephemeral perfection that you find along the journey. Because it’s an extraordinary feeling. Slamming that feeling is like finishing a piece of art and hosing it with water because you have only one canvas and need to get started with the next painting. Having finished is a great feeling. Settle into it.
One of the worst ways to spend time is feeling bad about what a good time you are having because it’s not going to last very long. We are scared that settling may make us complacent sloths, but we are never scared that not settling may make us depressive neurotics. We think the journey is a long red carpet that leads to the grand stage where you tear up and give your acceptance speech. We are disappointed when it leads to is a barren land. Your acceptance speech is a mere two words: now what?
The destination went by somewhere along the journey. It’s the day you woke up one morning and felt suddenly amazing. Instead of settling, you became unsettled. Instead of now what, you asked why now and went on. The reason we enjoy the journey is because of the unexpected destinations that show up along the way. Settle in there because you can’t go back to it. What will last are the memories of it and that’s what will keep you going until next unexpected destination.
The man who said ‘don’t settle’ also said ‘you can only connect the dots looking backward.’ In humanly fashion, looking forward, we care only about the lines and looking back we try to find the dots. So, amidst all the noise and chaos, when you wake up on a random morning and feel like an ocean of perfection, dive into that feeling, swim in the ocean and darken the dot. Settle. The ocean won’t stay calm for long.