September 01, 2006

Perfect Titan

What have I learned new today, you may ask? Well, keeping up with my ideal that we learn something new everyday, I learned something about one of my favorite sandstone structures in Moab, Utah. Pictured above is the area called The Fisher Towers. They are marvelous red sandstone structures in southeastern Utah. Until recently, I had no idea each tower had a name. Turns out, the biggest tower is called Titan. The Titan stands at 900 feet tall and it is claimed to be the largest, free-standing sandstone monolith in the United States. OK, so some of you reading this might not think this fact is cool, but since I travel past this perfect scenery while rafting down the Colorado River, I find a great appreciation for new information to share with others.

You might have noticed that I called the scenery perfect. So many wonders in nature can be considered perfect and often times we use the word perfect in daily life. We’ve all heard the saying that “Practice makes perfect” but let’s see if I can persuade you to shift your thinking into saying, “Practice make better, not perfect.”

First off, applying the word “perfect” to ourselves carries so much pressure. The word “perfect” carries so much clout. We live in a society that places so much attention to someone’s image and talents and so when they “faulter,” it surprisingly comes as such a huge shock to everyone, including the individual’s ego. To me, having the title of “perfect” leaves no space to relax.

We all have dreams and goals that we strive to achieve. Sometimes we’ll reach our goals, sometimes our goals change, but it’s inevitable that our venues and pathways to our dreams and goals will change. It’s the changes in the pathways where we learn invaluable lessons. If we were perfect, not only would we not need to change pathways (thus not gaining great lessons), but we’d already be at our goals. What would we strive for if we’re already perfect?

The word “better” leaves room for improvement, it leaves us with challenges to go after and chances for growth. “Practice makes better” is such a more positive and healthy way of thinking that “perfect.” Now, just because I’ve personally ruled out “perfect” from my lifestyle, doesn’t give me an excuse to be lazy and not strive for growth. After all it has taken Titan 1000’s and 1000’s of years of being transformed by sand, wind and rain to be majestic as he is today (and a thousand years from now, who know how beautiful he’ll look).

So, don’t put the pressure or the unrealistic ideals of “perfect” on your shoulders, but practice bettering yourself in all aspects of life…including happiness.

P.S. I’m really enjoying keeping a journal of the new things I’ve learned each day and I encourage you to do the same. It’s pretty fun. Just pay attention and keep track of the daily lessons you learn each day; and don’t forget to share what you learn too!

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