Walking back from the main gate of my college after a night eating out, I stated in 2001 to my close friends in college that “I am in a state of dynamic perfection.” And while this is consistent with my not-so-modest-outlook towards life, I truly believed it in at a 21 year old. Also, while this might have been the first instance that I remember of articulating this explicitly, I must have started believing this about myself for at least a few years before this.
What it really means to me is that I am perfect as I am today. However, I will learn, from my mistakes or from circumstances, and improve and that will be my newer (latest) state of perfection – therefore making it into a state of dynamic perfection. Always perfect, but always growing, rather like the upward spiral that the featured image of this post depicts.
I have tried in the past as well to analyze this belief of mine, more specifically find out exactly how did this belief come about to be instilled in me. But I can’t say that I have been able to find the fountainhead for sure, but my hunch is that it started off as a defense mechanism of sorts. Having grown up as a forced peripatetic due to my father’s transferable job, so as to be accepted easily into the cool groups into wherever I went, I think I projected strongly that I am quite cool as well. There’s this incident I remember from Grade 11 when I moved to DPS RK Puram and on the first day of introductions, I acted “cool” enough to be recognized by the hostelers which was the strongest tribe in place as they had already known each other for a few days. I was told I didn’t look like that day-sci (day scholar) that I was.
It helped that in general my academic abilities, and in more limited ways my sporting, dancing and later leadership abilities were good enough to hold me in good stead wherever I went. My biggest defense mechanism eventually became my strongest virtuous self-esteem building cycle: the state of being in perpetual but dynamic perfection.
All in all this paradigm or self-belief has made life has had so many positive fall-outs for me. One of the biggest struggles for anyone coming of age is find a wealth of self-esteem that s/he can tap into when the going gets tough. This self-belief of mine, meant that I had excellent levels of self-esteem (I still struggled socially – but more on that in another post). It formed the basis of my identity: I knew by the time I finished college, I had struggled through to build a clear paradigm that “I was okay and you (my parents, friends, world at large) were okay” (reference: Thomas Harris).
The fallouts have been mostly positive. Being in my exalted state of dynamic perfection has meant that I am comfortable accepting critical feedback or criticism, even if it’s personal. I tell myself that I did the best that I could yesterday and if the feedback is valid, I will learn from it and do even better tomorrow, moving to a higher state of perfection. It doesn’t become an ego or a self-esteem issue because the self-esteem is so strong and positive in the first place. In that sense I have no ego; at least, not of the sorts that comes in the way of recognizing that I am wrong and that I need to change / do something differently.
It has significantly improved my ability to listen and to accept change even from outside. In fact, at work I am known to be driver of change and progress and without being critical of what we were doing in the past. Both at work and personally it has meant that I am not insecure and allowed to take risks and also believe in people’s goodness and their best intentions rather their unintended poor decisions or even actions. A strong emotional quotient has allowed me to be able to handle most situations with a cool head; allowing me to think rationally while not suppressing what my emotions are telling me. All in all, a happy place to be in. Of course, I am yet to uncover fully exactly how I got here. Any theories, readers?