The Perfect Scenario
Personally, I can speak for myself when I say that not one single day goes exactly the way I plan it.
There’s always someone or something that kind of derails me and makes me go through some form of mild annoyance. Some sort of mild scenario that forces me to fall flat on my face.
The concept of the perfect scenario is good to think about in the mind. But, practically speaking, it’s not realistic.
We go through most of our days searching for the perfect scenario, the perfect partner, the perfect job, the perfect skill, and the perfect overall life.
It’s all kind of tiring. What exactly is perfection anyways? When will we ever reach or achieve that perfect state? Perfection is different in the eye of the beholder.
It’s a kind of false hope that we pin all our excitements on. To believe that once we achieve that state, we will have made it in life. Or we will have achieved all that is needed to be achieved.
To think that all the problems in the world will just magically go away after achieving that ideal scenario. It’s wishful thinking that the media takes advantage of.
Selling us the next best product. The next best big thing that can cure all our variety of malaise. And to make us want and want and want more. Giving life to the cycle of consumerism.
It’s not anybody’s fault so to speak. After all, every country needs an economy to keep things moving and to survive. There are benefits to capitalism as well as flaws.
We sometimes need to be driven to improve. To achieve goals. To accomplish feats. To succeed and be seen as a winner. It’s what society drives us to do. More and more of that.
I thought I landed in the perfect scenario when I got into Cornell University, an Ivy League Institution. It was what I was working for throughout my four years in high school.
To get good grades. Develop a polished resume. Ace the SATs. So that I can finally get into that glistening university to make my parents and my friends proud.
For the first few months at Cornell, it was absolute bliss (I have to admit). I developed a mindset where I felt like I was living in paradise. Surrounded by great friends. Great food. Great facilities.
And no parents to continuously check up on what we were doing. But, after two or three months, that initially blissful energy gradually wore off - as I realized that the education at Cornell was not going to be a walk-in-the-park.
There will be times where I’ll be required to work late into the night. I remembered achieving an all-nighter one day - feeling absolutely drained in the morning.
I remember feeling inadequate while learning calculus and derivatives - not knowing what the purpose of memorizing all these formulas was for.
The initial high of getting into an Ivy League institution gradually wore off - and reality set in. The perfect scenario was no longer perfect anymore. And I had to work through it all.
Just like when I was working in high school to get into a college - I was now working in college to graduate and get a good paying job. The cycle seemed to continue again.
Work hard. Achieve goal. Rinse and repeat. Maybe once I graduate and get that good job - I will be set for life. Only then, will I have officially made it.
The cycle rolls on and on - regardless of whether we ask for it or not. My four years at Cornell were no where near perfect. But, that’s what makes it memorable.
I can still look back fondly at the friendships I’ve developed. And look back at how I was at that time compared with how I am now. Vast differences. And vast changes in mindset and personality.
I view those four years at college with a sense of nostalgia and with genuine appreciation in the hardships that I’d had to go through.
I don’t think the Cornell experience would’ve been as fulfilling - if I had just gone through those four years with absolute bliss. When that sense of perfection wore off two months into college, that’s when life truly worked its magic.
That’s when I could truly view my four years back in college with a sense of vulnerable gratitude. When I finally learned that life is not easy, and often times you will not get what you want, and you will get hit in the face hard - forcing you to adapt, gather your thoughts, and get back up.
The perfect scenario was imperfect at best. Vulnerable, genuine, and humbling. That was what college taught me. And it makes me not even try to achieve nor expect perfection anymore - from anything or anyone.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s always good to learn and to improve in whatever you do. But when you aim for perfection, just realize that often times you will fall flat on your face and not be in line with your expectation.
And it’s good to come to terms with failure. Knowing that on many days, the most important thing is to get back up. Winning and success will come naturally to those who are resilient to falling. Those whom are well-acquainted with imperfection will know the true joy of what it means to live life to the fullest.