Resilience Imperfection As An Art Form

I’m doing a check-in on resilience from The Louvre Abu Dhabi -- a museum ten years in the making which required a ground-breaking intergovernmental, 30-year agreement between the United Arab Emirates and France. One of the most innovative and ambitious museum projects of the early 21st century, which wasn’t without its own series of complications, obstacles and delays… further complicated by the global financial crisis and its subsequent crash in oil prices. There was also international opposition from some corners of the world with online petitions and protests. Of course, there were bound to be obstacles with a project of its scope; and, there was bound to be controversy with so lofty a goal to create a museum of such extraordinary stature.

I filmed this video standing underneath the architectural centerpiece of the museum -- its 180-meter dome, designed to be symbolic of the history, architecture and traditions of the UAE. It achieves an almost impossible-seeming architectural feat with its 7,500 tons of steel and aluminum that comprise a complex, eight-layered, geometric pattern. Sunlight pours through the “weightless” layers of 7,800 stars -- known as the “rain of light.” It provides a welcome oasis from the desert heat while incorporating the all-important natural element of the sun. And, at night, the dome creates its own constellation. Incredible, isn’t it?

So, how is it that this project and its design are related to the checkpoint of resilience? Just think… what if the governments, project managers, and many others involved gave up in the face of so many obstacles? Or, what if they didn’t endure in the face of a much-longer-than-planned -- and very imperfect -- project? I certainly wouldn’t be standing under its dome, admiring it or sharing it with you! To me, this museum is a testament to persevering through all the imperfections in order to bring something to fruition.

So, how do we move on with resilience and embrace our imperfections? If we’re waiting for perfection to move forward on our own Best Life Map journey… we’ll be waiting a looooooong time.

Perfection isn’t a destination. Perfection doesn’t exist.

I’m sure you’ve heard the often-repeated Voltaire quote “Perfect is the enemy of the good”. In fact, I’d even take it a step further in suggesting that imperfection is part of our uniqueness and beauty. As the Persian poet, Rumi, rightly reminds us: “The wound is the place where the light enters.”

In cultures celebrating and promoting unattainable standards of perfection and constant comparisons,  it can be hard to embrace our own imperfections. Our cracks or wounds are part of who we are, part of our beauty. The Japanese art of Kintsukuroi which means “golden repair” demonstrates this so well. It is the art of repairing broken pottery by filling the cracks with a lacquer dusted with powdered gold. In essence, this art form celebrates brokenness as a thing of beauty. It celebrates brokenness as part of the history of the pottery -- art in itself.

You will need to embrace {perhaps celebrate} your imperfections to live your Best Life. So, move forward with the best case scenario, knowing it may not be perfect. If you embrace your imperfections -- perhaps in time, you’ll see them as part of you, part of your history, part of your uniqueness. Perhaps in time, you’ll see your imperfections as a means of helping someone else. Perhaps, you’ll embrace your imperfections as things of true golden beauty to be celebrated.

I’d love for you to reply below and let me know one of your imperfections you can embrace today, to move forward. How can you learn to embrace your imperfections as a means to bring your goals and dreams to fruition? Don’t allow the illusion of perfection to keep you from living your Best Life!

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