IN the third week of November a beauty contest began in Italy.
So what? Don¹t all sorts of beauty contests take place all the time?
Miss Australia? Miss America? Miss World? Miss Universe? But this one was unique.
³Miss Digital World² was a virtual beauty only. She existed only as pixels tweaked to perfection on a computer.
Franz Cerami, creator of the real-world competition over unreal beauty, said: ³Miss Digital World is the search for a contemporary ideal of beauty seen through virtual reality.²
His contest set me to thinking.
Let¹s suppose that practically everyone who saw the pixelated perfection of the winning image agreed that she was truly beautiful.
Stunning. Absolutely perfect.
However, since nobody will be able to find her in the real world, let¹s further suppose that women set out to copy the virtual beauty¹s perfection.
Some have surgery. Many more alter their hair and makeup.
Still more feel some degree of frustration at falling so short of the ideal.
Friend, if such a thing happened, there would be nothing new or uncommon about it.
You see, long before computers could generate pixel-perfect beauty, human beings found ways to frustrate ourselves with unrealistic and unattainable expectations.
It is bad enough that we often see others through the lenses of perfectionism. It is even worse that some of us drive ourselves to emotional and spiritual collapse.
Sadly, perfectionists get the impression early in life that they have value only as they achieve and impress others.
So they feel totally worthless if they can¹t do things just right and win everyone¹s approval.
Naturally, this means that when they fail to achieve an unreasonable goal, they denigrate their value as persons.
At the same time, they feel compelled to hide their weaknesses for fear of being rejected. Consequently, equating imperfection with failure, they take very few risks.
And as they build their lives around avoiding failure and criticism, they miss countless opportunities to learn and grow.
When you stop to think about it, the flawless beauty, perfect job, faultless mate, ideal church there is no such thing.
So, instead of searching for or trying to be what cannot exist in the real world, we would be wiser and happier to focus on doing tasks well rather than on results alone.
How important it is for each of us to realise that we can neither achieve or demand perfection. It¹s also important to learn from our mistakes rather than live with constant self-judgment.
Friend, in your life¹s journey, don¹t stop setting goals, striving for excellence, and working hard. Just don¹t judge yourself by a standard so unattainable that all the joy God has willed for you is forfeited along the way.
Indeed, the only way you and I can achieve real success in life is to begin with life¹s realities its limitations and changes, its surprises and unexpected turns, its timed nature and death.
So if you would like some help in achieving this, I¹d be happy to send you a free copy of The Success Plan.
My postal address is: PO Box 1540, Albany WA 6331. Phone/fax: (08) 98 418 418. Email: email@example.com For further encouragement I invite you to visit our website at: www.discoveringabetterlife.org.au