Ideality and reality

Klaus Botta, 29.08.2017

Some days everything just goes wrong...

Do you know that too? Getting up too late in the morning, then another half hour in a traffic jam - where you need it the least, someone snatches a parking space right in front of your nose and then a program crash on your computer, which destroys the work of the last half hour...

"Today is not my day - I should have stayed in bed - nothing really works out."

Is that really the case - or do we perhaps have a wrong picture of normality? Granted: Sometimes the "fails" in our lives accumulate. We notice this directly. But if sometimes everything goes according to plan. We then feel that this is completely normal.

Especially we, who live in a highly industrialized world trimmed for perfection and optimization, have a problem with imperfections and the non-optimal. 90 percent is 10 percent below maximum!

At this point one should ask oneself the following questions:

First: Can the optimum really be the normal state?

Second: What happens to us if we constantly set the optimum as a reference value that must at least be reached?

You probably noticed it right away: The second question contains a contradiction: Better than the optimum does not work out. But actually we think in a similar way. That everything runs smoothly is actually self-evident and sometimes reality should surprise you with a few bonus points.

But reality does usually not... And then we are dissatisfied again.

And that's where the big danger lies. If you set your standards too high, you will first and foremost increase your frustration and decrease your satisfaction.

One could also say: satisfaction is reality divided by aspiration.

Do not misunderstand me. I do not want to call for a lack of demands now. I am only saying that "too high demands" can make you dissatisfied because reality is simply not the same as the ideal state. Mistakes and low strokes are to a certain extent normal and part of life.

The more we accept this fact, the better we can handle it and the less bad we feel when something goes wrong.

It is simply unrealistic that EVERYTHING works. This is true for weather as well as for rush hour, the train, a rendezvous or a job interview.

Here we can learn a lot from other nations. For me a visit of relatives in Spain was very impressive. Power outages were just as much a part of everyday life as delays and cancellations. Nobody was particularly annoyed when the water came "green" out of the tap. But real joy came up when the water (although strongly chlorinated) bubbled clearly out of the tap again. My "Spanish" relatives endured the small incidents of everyday life with impressive calmness and concentrated much more on the positive sides of life: nice weather, great food, great wine, a beautiful garden and nice, relaxed people. That gave me something to think about.

I myself am clearly a perfectionist in my basic type and thus somewhere a typical representative of our nation. But I have learned that one lives much more relaxed and better if one accepts that "90 percent" is far above the middle and thus already represents a very good value. That really helps me a lot to cope with my little failures and to be more satisfied.

Having high standards is not bad in itself - on the contrary: it is a decisive factor for success in life. As so often, it depends on the circumstances. The situations that you can influence yourself should be tackled with high standards, commitment and consistency. Of course, this is always associated with effort, discipline and the ability to change. On the other hand, the unpleasant events of life, which one has no influence on (traffic jams, small mishaps and all other unchangeable negatives), should be met with as much composure and flexibility in thinking as possible.

By the way, our one-hand watches reflect exactly this attitude. Although every one-hand watch is technically perfectly developed and theoretically capable of representing time to the second, it is nevertheless generous in its representation of time. This generosity is actually transferred to the owner - if the owner allows it.

I wish you a relaxed time - and an eye for the essential.

Yours, Klaus Botta

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