Why There’s No Such Thing as a Perfect Year
Every December, we’re flooded with content claiming to hold the key to making the upcoming year our “best year ever.” Of course, these types of patronizing news stories, articles, and commercials don’t reflect the reality of life. So how on Earth can they hold the secret to the best year ever?
This best year ever concept is directly connected to our obsession with flawlessness—which we know isn't possible. There’s no perfect year. So, as we start 2023, I’m going to stop trying to become a more perfect version of me.
Seeking opportunities over perfection
It’s been said, and I agree, that life is about experiences. All of them—the ones that make you feel good and the ones that make you feel not so good, too. I’d argue the best personal growth happens in the thick of the latter.
Every experience opens up new possibilities. School is a chance to expand your mind and learn. Dating presents the prospect of finding love. Job hunting is an opportunity to pursue your passion.
But what happens when these encounters don’t go as planned? You flunk a test, your significant other leaves you, or you lose out on the position you really wanted. Do adverse outcomes have to diminish these experiences? Absolutely not.
All too often, we only associate opportunities with positive outcomes. But that’s just not true. Challenges happen to us all. Despite the sting, adversity still presents possibility.
We have to make choices every day—that’s one of life’s few certainties. Most of them seem trivial, like which route you’ll drive to the office. Others are more defining, like, will you take this job? Or will you end that friendship?
Much of what happens this year will be fantastic and positive. Situations might even fall into the “best ever” category. But no year is perfect, and some circumstances will easily fit into the “worst ever” category, too. What then?
Harnessing the power of purpose
Every possibility you encounter is a gift. A chance to learn, grow, and become—not perfect—but better than you were yesterday.
Some of what happens will feel anything but positive in the moment. With purpose and perspective, though, those experiences can build you up to become an even more authentic version of yourself.
A few weeks ago, I talked about the sudden loss of my father at the end of December. Whether I want to look at it this way or not, his death presents certain lessons for me. I can grow to be more resilient, bond with my family, or discover something about myself I didn’t know.
I am far from a master of this mentality, but these circumstances have required me to reevaluate. What I do know is my purpose will pull me through and help me become a more evolved Mori.
When setbacks happen, the best outcome is personal growth. Getting to a place of growth and acceptance requires intent. You need to know and understand your motivation to avoid getting stuck in the negative.
For me, my work is my purpose. Sure, the grind is hard, and the work is complex—but it also provides a tremendous sense of resolve.
The real best year ever
2023 won’t be perfect. You’ll have highs and lows. Best evers and never agains. But tap into your purpose, and you can live your best year ever.
How? Because every year can be your best year ever.
Every day, every month, and every year builds on the last with your experiences, observations, and lessons learned. Collectively, these forces work together to make us more complete than we were before.
Viktor Frankl, Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist said, “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” What’s happening around us is rarely, if ever, perfect. But when fueled by purpose, our situation has much less power over us.
You won’t love everything about this year, but you will learn and grow, as long as you steadfastly pursue your purpose. And this time next year, you’ll be a slightly different person than you are today.