Friday, May 8, 2009

Just Let Go (Giveaway)

By Tal Ben Shahar,
Author of The Pursuit of Perfect: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Start Living a Richer, Happier Life

"The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men"
-George Eliot

We are constantly bombarded with perfection. Adonis on the cover of Men's Health and Helen on the cover of Vogue; women and men getting together on the larger-than-life screen, resolving conflicts in two hours or less, delivering perfect lines, making perfect love. Parents and teachers exalt the flawless 'A'; college admission officers expect resumes without end. We've all heard our self-help Gurus tell us that there is no limit to our potential, that what we can believe we can achieve, that where there's a will there's a way. We've been told that we can find bliss if only we follow the road not taken, or the road taken by our serene spiritual leader -- the one with the best smile on the cover of the New York Times best seller.

The yearning for perfection has its roots in the Garden of Eden, having descended there from Heaven; it blossomed throughout Western Philosophy, first in the shape of Plato's forms, and then in the form of Weber's ideal types. "When Plato wrote that everything on earth has its ideal version in heaven," says Diane Ackerman, "many took what he said literally. But for me the importance of Plato's ideal forms lies not in their truth but in our desire for the flawless." The desire for the flawless condemns us to perpetual displeasure with who we are: "Even the most comely of us feel like eternally ugly ducklings who yearn to be transformed into swans."

Who among us has not, at times, allowed an awareness of our shortcomings to overshadow our triumphs and achievements? Is the flesh and blood behind the Adonic picture wholly satisfied with his relationships, or his investments, and does he not feel threatened by next month's cover boy? Is the non-digitally-enhanced Helen totally happy with her skin or SAT scores, and is she indifferent to the ticking of the clock and the omnipresent force of gravity?

The antidote to perfectionism is acceptance. When we do not accept our flaws, we focus on them constantly -- we magnify them and deny ourselves the silent satisfaction of serenity. Imagine spending a year in school -- reading and writing and learning -- without concern for the report card at the end of the ride. Or being in a relationship without the need to mask imperfections. Or getting up in the morning and embracing the man, or woman, in the mirror.

Acceptance, however, is not the panacea for perfectionism, and expecting it to work miracles will only lead to further unhappiness. In our search for serenity through acceptance, we inevitably experience much turmoil. Swayed by promises of heaven on earth, lured by sirens in the odyssey toward self acceptance, we look for perfect tranquility -- and when we do not find it, we feel frustrated, disillusioned. And it is, indeed, an illusion that we can be perfectly accepting and hence perfectly serene. For can anyone living sustain the eternal tranquility of a Mona Lisa?

There is no end point in the journey toward tranquility, no final destination where we have completely accepted ourselves. The place of eternal bliss and serenity, as far as I can tell, exists only in dreams and magazines -- not in the valley of green pastures nor on a mountain top above the clouds. So rather than following Sisyphus' footsteps, why not just drop the burden, let go of the myth of perfection? Why not be a little bit easier on ourselves and accept that to experience fear, jealousy, anger, and, at times, to be unaccepting of ourselves, is simply, and perfectly, human.

©2009 Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D, author of The Pursuit of Perfect: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Start Living a Richer, Happier Life

Author Bio
Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D., author of The Pursuit of Perfect: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Start Living a Richer, Happier Life, is the New York Times bestselling author of Happier. He taught one of the most popular courses in Harvard's history, and he currently consults and lectures around the world to multinational organizations, the general public, and at-risk populations. He obtained his Ph.D. in organizations behavior and his B.A. in philosophy and psychology from Harvard.

We have one copy of Tal Ben Shahar's book The Pursuit of Perfect: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Start Living a Richer, Happier Life for one lucky reader!

There are several ways to enter - here are the rules:

Please note: Your email address MUST either be in your comment or available on your blogger profile or your entry will NOT count!! **

* Leave us a comment on any post here at Pink Lemonade (be sure to comment on this post & let us know where you commented).

* Become a follower on Twitter. Leave me a comment to let me know your twitter name (if you are already a follower, leave me a comment with your twitter name).

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* Subscribe to our RSS Feed or sign up to receive Pink Lemonade by Email. Leave me a comment to let me know you. If you are already a subscriber, leave me a comment and let me know.

* Blog about our contest on your blog. Leave me a comment with your post url.

* Place our widget on your blog (it's toward the bottom of this page in the far right column - just click "get widget" at the bottom of the widget [under the heading "Grab our Widget"]). Leave me a comment with your site url.

There you have it! Six very simple ways to enter our contest - how easy is that? Complete rules can be found on our Contest page.

This contest ends Thursday, May 14th at 11:59pm (pdst) so don't wait - make sure you've gotten all six entries before it's too late! Please note: entries received after the cutoff time will be deleted prior to drawing a winner.



Posted by Liz of Pink Lemonade

46 comments:

TX_Jen34 said...

I follow on twitter.
TX_Jen1634

TX_Jen34 said...

I subscribed by email.

TX_Jen34 said...

I'm a fan on facebook.
Jennifer Greene- facebook name

TX_Jen34 said...

Left a comment on the durex giveaway.

Tj and Amy said...

I am a fan on facebook. amy bolda pugmire. amsbolda@hotmail.com

Tj and Amy said...

I subscribe. amsbolda@hotmail.com

Tj and Amy said...

I have your button. amsbolda@hotmail.com

Tj and Amy said...

I follow on twitter and tweeted. amsbolda@hotmail.com
http://twitter.com/1amypugmire/status/1744506809

mmentor said...

sign me up

Sunnyvale said...

I'd like to read this.

js22 said...

I commented on this post.

http://www.pinklemonadeoflife.com/2009/05/free-prom-means-more-money-well-yes-but.html

Thanks for the giveaway!

email in blogger profile.

zekebamm said...

This sounds like a book that I really need to read soon!

deedleweedle said...

I could really use advice on this topic. Would love to read it!

gahome2mom said...

I commented at "Keep the Kids Engaged This Summer". :)

gahome2mom at gmail dot com

gahome2mom said...

twtd @gahome2mom

Win Just Let Go Bk @pinklemonadeliz http://bit.ly/vUgSf

susan1215 said...

Sounds like a good book

Erma said...

I would love the chance to win, thanks.
erma.hurtt@sbcglobal.net

Anonymous said...

Prefectionism ( sic ) Rules!

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Mary
zenrei57 (at) hotmail (dot) com

I commented on this post and could really use this book, perfection is the bane of my existence lol

Melanie said...

I would love to read this!
I try to do everything perfectly..
and maybe thats me problem.







clarkmurdock@yahoo.com

Gabriel J. said...

Great read!

Gabriel J. said...

I follow

wanda flanagan said...

Please enter me

Sam said...

I think a book like this could really help me and those around me!

ilikecitylights @ gmail dot com

intime said...

I would love this book

MommaGambina said...

I posted in the Valentines Picks. Really thought the site mentioned was really named great!

Thanks so much for the chance to win! :)

katco64 at aol dot com

quelleheure4 said...

I commented on Can your diet flatten your belly?

quelleheure4[at]gmail{dot}com

quelleheure4 said...

I follow on twitter (quelleheure4)

quelleheure4 said...

I'm a subscriber!

angie said...

I think I need to read this one. :)

masonsgranny59 said...

Sounds like a good book:)

Gianna said...

I posted here :)
http://www.pinklemonadeoflife.com/2009/05/top-10-things-not-to-do-at-childs.html

Kelly F said...

I commented on this post:
http://www.pinklemonadeoflife.com/2009/05/can-your-diet-flatten-your-belly.html

wordsmoveme(at)gmail(dot)com

Kelly F said...

I follow on twitter :)
username: wordsmoveme

wordsmoveme(at)gmail(dot)com

Kelly F said...

I subscribe to your RSS feed.

wordsmoveme(at)gmail(dot)com

Kelly F said...

I have your widget on my blog:
http://invisiblepedestrian.blogspot.com/

wordsmoveme(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to relax and drink in the virtues of this book! Would be so wonderful to have this prize! Thanks for this great site

Barbara Rawe
tykelly1@yahoo.com

kathy pease said...

Thanks for the GREAT giveaway
please count me in :)

kathy pease said...

following on twitter klp1965

kathy pease said...

fan on facebook kathy l pease

Nyuel said...

Trying to be perfect is a major issue for me, since it causes me to avoid taking risks. I'd love to win this book; it might help me. Thanks for the chance.

Nyuel113(at)yahoo(dot)com

Nyuel said...

I'm an email subscriber.

Nyuel113(at)yahoo(dot)com

purango said...

I left a comment on Organizing Family Fun. Great book. garrettsambo@aol.com

lilyk said...

Please enter me into the contest. Thanks!

lilyk said...

I subscribed by email.

lilyk said...

I became your Facebook fan.