I’ve gotten all sorts of advice throughout my lifetime. Haven’t
we all? One of my favorite pieces of advice has been, “Take what you have and make what you can.” I’ve applied that to projects, and problems, and especially to myself as an imperfect human striving for perfection.
Taking what I have and making what I can has helped me cope with the real, when I’ve fallen short of the ideal. It keeps my perfectionism in check. And that’s a peaceful place to be.
Taking what I have and making what I can has also made me less obsessive and judgmental—about myself and others. I now look at what I used to see as imperfections as unique characteristics. When it comes to myself, if I find my uniqueness less than desirable, I harness that energy and use it toward personal growth instead of spending my energy fretting about it. And that is where I made an extraordinary discovery.
When I thought I was taking what I had, I often found by digging deeper, I had more than what I thought I did. Taking what you have and making what you can is a way of embracing your less-than-perfect-self, a problem that’s gone awry, or a project that may be off-track. One of my friends has often said to me, “If you can’t change it, embrace it.” And I would add to that, “If you don’t embrace it, you probably can’t change it.”
So the moral of all this is that when you spend less time trying to be perfect, and more time embracing who you are, you’ll naturally find ways to grow and change. And in doing that you may also find a perfect peace.