You will never perfect yourself

Posted in: Applying Wisdom

No one can be moral—that is, no one can harmonize contained conflicts—without coming to a working arrangement between the angel in himself and the devil in himself, between his rose above and his manure below. The two forces or tendencies are mutually interdependent, and the game is a working game just so long as the angel is winning, but does not win, and the devil is losing, but is never lost. (The game doesn’t work in reverse, just as the ocean doesn’t work with wave-crests down and troughs up.)

-Allan Watts, The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

If you embark on any effort to improve yourself, don’t set the passing mark at 100%. Acknowledge there will never be  a point when you will have passed or failed. 

If you want to be kinder to others, be kind more often than you are mean. Your meanness doesn’t make make you a mean person.

If you want to be more productive, strive to produce something more frequently than you watch Netflix, but don’t beat yourself up for watching The Great British Baking Show instead of working.

If you want to be less anxious, enjoy the moment more often than you worry about what comes next, but accept that your worry will always be there in some form.

Learn to appreciate the struggle as it happens.