Oftentimes starting is the most difficult part. We tell ourselves we will start eating healthy on January 1. Or we say next Monday, I will start going to the gym. We tell ourselves things like, now isn’t a good time, but in a few days it will be the perfect time to begin. In reality this is an excuse. Perfection isn’t attainable. This is just a way for us to justify not doing something we know we should. It reminds me of a saying, and a story.
The saying is “Blablabla. Go workout”. Basically it is saying, yeah yeah yeah, whatever your excuse is, it sucks. Now go workout. You can make excuses but the situation will never be/remain perfect. And at the end of the day did you do something to improve your health or not? The story it reminds of will take a little time to explain but if you are tired of making those excuses it’s a great read. It goes like this.
The story of my dad, a mustang, and perfection
When I was in 7th grade, I was mowing yards for money. One yard was out of my neighborhood, so my dad would drive me there so I could mow it. One day we pulled into the neighborhood and we passed by a black 1968 Mustang coupe. It was gorgeous, and it took me about 1 whole second to fall for it. I HAD to have a ’68 Mustang.
Fast forward a year, I had been saving up my money, and had found a local 1968 Mustang coupe for sale. I paid $3,000 for it. It wasn’t black – it was white. And it needed A LOT of work.
But it was mine.
Back in high school I had a few things done, mostly mechanical, so I could drive it a little bit. My dad was excited about this restoration project and even enrolled in some night paint and body classes at a local technical college just so he could work on it himself.
While I was in college we continued to work on it, but in reality, he did the majority of work. My dad was hung up on perfection. In his mind, you did not go to step 2 until step 1 was perfect.
His goal was for this to be a perfect restoration. He saw it as his gift to me that he make the body work and paint perfect. The years ticked by. I graduated college, and began my working life. Meanwhile, my dad kept trying to bring the car to perfection.
In 2016, about 12 years after buying the car, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. An aggressive and unsurvivable cancer. That June we finished the paint and body work, and in July of 2018 it was finally as done, at least as done as any project car can be. And guess what, it wasn’t perfect. A few months after the car was finished my dad passed away. He never said it, but I know the few flaws the car has drove him crazy.
The moral of the story
There are still plenty of flaws, even in the paint and body. The car isn’t restored to perfection, and I hope it never is. If it was, I wouldn’t want to drive it or enjoy it for fear of making it imperfect. If it was perfect I wouldn’t see the flaws and hear my dad’s voice in my head explaining to me how he planned on fixing that. Anytime it got the slightest bit dirty I would want to detail it.
But I drive it, I enjoy it, I use it. And best of all, it is a place for me to remember him.
The moral of the story is, there will never be a perfect time to start living a healthier life. It is better to just start, because planning on perfect is unrealistic.
My dad’s mindset was step 1 has to be perfect to move on to step 2. I encourage you to adopt the mindset of I can’t take step 2 if I stay on step 1.
Love you and miss you dad.
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