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The Mirage That Will Keep You In The Desert

Apr 24 · 4 min read

“Everything you do consciously is preserved for you. Everything you do mechanically, since you did not do it, is lost.” –Maurice Nicoll

Perfectionism is the height of mechanical thinking.

It is the mirage that will keep you in the desert.

It is the oasis that will never satisfy your thirst.

The idea that things must be of a certain undefined or unreachable quality is torturous.

So why do we fall into this trap and how do we escape?

Often the mirage is more comforting to look at then the desert we find ourselves stuck in.

We can only escape this trap by having the courage to look outside the mirage.

This type of exploration is always painful at first. The voice of doubt sounds loudly when we dare look outside the mirage of perfectionism.

“Where is the water!?” “When will I ever create something that will LAST!?”

Chances are you’ve been close to escaping the mirages and deserts of a dry life, but you keep falling back into their trap.

The mirage of “perfectionism” is exacerbated by our digital media-obsessed world.

Each perfect image, story, or piece of media we see that’s highly produced leads us further into the desert. We forget that we don’t have a huge team and amount of resources around our own creations. Judgment seeps in, and it’s not long before we’re comparing Apples to Oranges.

This is why detoxing from news and social media can be so valuable. How many images of manufactured “perfection” have you been taking in? The answers can be hard to face.

When we detox from the mirage of highly produced digital media, we lose our addiction to perfectionism.

When we get clean from this addiction, we lose the craving that our creations will meet ALL of our needs.

We lose the desire to find a “why” in the mirage that will make everything right in the real world.

When we live in the pursuit of perfection, we lead either a quiet life of desperation or a loud, self-destructive life of pursuit. But when we get clean from this addiction and step out of the mirage we find…


We find a world we haven’t explored in a long time. We might even find that reality and other people are much more friendly then we’ve been taught in the mirage.

In the throws of perfectionism, you are your own worst abuser. You are the one who prevents you from being happy, from really exploring your skills, your power, your relationships.

The way out of the desert is through becoming content with imperfection.

What “imperfections” really are is the stuff that makes originals.

Imperfections are our opportunity to see the world, others, and self as they really exist. In those moments our mind revolts or creates stories on why not to look. And in those moments we have a chance to see each other. When we see each other we have an opportunity to recognize truth. We have an opportunity to heal.

Imperfection isn’t about lowering your standards. It’s about seeing what is, in order to correctly appreciate the now. In the present moment when you’re not grasping for a better moment, your defenses are down. Cortisol isn’t running through your system. In those moments, we have opportunities to be participants in co-creating the next moment. In those moments, we can chart a course out of the desert.

By giving up on perfectionism, and allowing for imperfection, you’ll make it out of the desert. Perfectionism and digital media can become intense addictions. But you have the power to get clean from them and chart a course out of the mirage.

If you’re brave enough to walk out of the desert, who knows what will be on the other side?

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Written by


Stories & podcasts that make smart people smarter: The Mission Daily: The Story podcast:

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.

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