To be ideal all the time struck a couple of people who commented on the original post as A. exhausting, B. impractical and C. annoying to others. Agreed. So here’s my (Jon’s) take on this topic.
It seems to me that there’s a lot of preparation behind those ideal moments when we’re completely absorbed in something we love. The young woman I saw reciting those poems spent hours memorizing and thinking about how she wanted to say each word.
There was a lot of sweat and discipline and patience before we saw her standing in front of us. I doubt she loved every one of those hours. The way I see it, time spent doing what is less than ideal creates the circumstances that make those ideal moments possible. But there ought to be an underlying connection between the two parts of our lives and that connection is Values.
The same values that lead us to delay gratification, to do something that might be a bit unpleasant, should be expressed in the activity we love. Thus, I’m not talking here of being a bastard at work so that you can have great free time on the weekends. The values wouldn’t align.
In the example that prompted this Thought Starter, it is love of poetry that underlies both the woman’s hard work and the moment of performance. It seems to me that an indication of living a good life is when we see the same values driving both aspects of our lives.