Less Than Ideal: Re-heat

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.



6 thoughts on “Less Than Ideal: Re-heat

  1. This resonates with me deeply – I’m a musician and a teacher, so both fields require a lot of preparation in order to create a situation that aligns with our goals. So while I don’t always love agonizing over every sound that comes out of my instrument, it’s my desire to create the best performance possible that motivates me to do that work. However, there is a lot of area for exploration in the way we prepare as well! I see so many people try to rush through practicing because it’s what they feel they are “supposed to do” and they neglect this linking of values, and fail to realize that careful and mindful practice will advance your work further and more quickly than toiling away for hours on end with no goal or focus.

  2. From my own perspective, I find that living through/from my deeper, underlying “values” brings a sense of “ideal” to what I am doing. And sometimes whatever activity or endeavor that is coming out of…it might evolve and develop to an especially fulfilling level for me….that’s what “ideal” seems like to me…the steady, continuing, sincere, underlying sense and motivation I bring to whatever I might be doing.

  3. Great post. I recently read a great quote, “If you want an easy, uncomplicated life, do the difficult and complicated”

    I love this idea of kind of pushing through the fire purposfully to bask on the other side, as opposed to being hesitant and getting burned out in the fires.

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