Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Saturday, Sep 09, 2006

Metro Plus Pondicherry

Embrace your imperfections!

Learn to accept your flaws and grow to like them

Agreed, we live in an unforgiving age,
surrounded by examples of perfection
 everywhere. People with perfectly worked
 out bodies, perfectly intelligent minds,
perfectly honed talents; the perfect fathers,
 mothers, spouse, siblings, offspring, friends.

 However, it's time you learnt to love yourself
 warts and all. The truth is nobody is perfect.
 Nobody. Of course, there are some people
who pass the perfect or near perfect tests,
day after day. These are people who have
 actually worked at themselves. They
have, first of all, accepted their imperfections.
 Then they have grown to like these flaws.
And ultimately, they have learned to love the
 warps and wefts of their external and internal

 Let's begin with the most obvious
point. You feel you have an imperfect body.
 Well, it's time to step back and focus on
 the woods, not the trees. Focus on your
assets. Look hard and you'll find your
imperfect body comes along with its
own inbuilt good points, too. Play up
 your assets, play down what you think
 are your imperfections (actually, they are
 but quirks) and be happy in your skin, in your body.

So you think, no, you know, that you are an imperfect
mate. You aren't as good a wife/husband/girlfriend/
boyfriend as the neighbour, your colleague at work
or your best friend seems to be. And of
course, imperfection deserves imperfection. Which
is why your relationship seems stuck in a rut, you
are in a soulless dead end and there seems to be no way out.

We have a secret just for you: you are the best!
Really and truly. Your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend
is with you only because he/she thinks you are the
best. They like you for the essential person you are
and if they are sometimes irked by your imperfect ways
 (actually, we call them quirky ways) well, they let you
 know so... and that's your cue to work on the wrinkles.

So you are convinced you are imperfect at work. Which,
of course, is why the big promotion has passed you by.
Which is why your bosses never seem to appreciate you.
 Which is why you have lost all enjoyment in your work
and drag yourself to the workplace, day after relentless day.
 It's a sad life, indeed.

The victim frame of mind
This perceived imperfection needs a spot of serious
introspection. First of all, get out of the victim frame of
mind. You are not flawed, the job is not a bad fit for you.
 You just have to improve your work style. Observe
 the most successful among your colleagues and note
 their winning characteristics and manoeuvres. Ask your
 boss for some one-on-one time and discuss what you
 could do to upgrade your work and professional profile.
Improve your work style, eliminate the imperfection, no,
 the quirks, but do it your way, at your pace. Do it all the
while telling yourself that you are good.

You've just crowned yourself the most imperfect pal. And
why? Because you find you are easily irritated by some of the
things your circle of friends does or says. Sometimes you snap
at a bewildered pal. Other times, you find you are jealous
of their achievements.

What you need to know here is that friends are like the
perfect pearl necklace, where each pearl has a different shape.
So let us reiterate, you may be an eccentric, a quirky pal,
but you are not an imperfect friend. The small irritations are
just that, small... no big deal. What is a big deal? You are
there for your friends when the chips are down. Which makes
you a perfect pal, see?

This is one thing that people agonise a lot over... being an
imperfect person. As in, you label yourself loud, brash,
over-sensitive, clumsy, aggressive, pushy, timid... the
whole package deal of imperfections, in fact. And what you
see yourself, you slowly become. Which is how you drown
 in a sea of perceived imperfections.

You've lost sight of one vital fact: They love you out there.
Just as you are. Loud but funny. Timid but sincere. Aggressive
 but always able to rustle up film tickets or restaurant table
 bookings at short notice. You see, others know these
`imperfections' of yours to be mere quirks! So, join the gang,
 won't you? Start to love yourself.


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