I am currently in the process of buying a new car, (well new for me…but certified pre-owned for the car lol) and it has been an extremely thorough process.  My dad always taught me to do my due-diligence; research what I want, know all the ins and outs, check every corner, cross every “t” and dot every “i.”  In this fashion, I’ve called multiple dealerships, visited and test-drove several models, asked tons of questions and took plenty of notes and photos, but still haven’t found the perfect car. Then I had an epiphany… shopping for a car has taught me so much about life. 

There’s no such thing as a perfect car. There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship. There’s no such thing as a perfect job.  And even if it seems perfect now, it won’t always be.

But that is OKAY. Imperfection is real and beautiful.  The quality of our happiness grows when we stop focusing on being perfect, and focus on being real.   Happiness between two people grows in direct proportion to their acceptance of themselves, and it decreases on the inverse proportion to their expectations and intolerance of things not looking a certain way or going the way they had planned. 

One of my mentors taught me the 80 percent rule in relationships and life. My mentor told me that a truly happy relationship or career will have 80% of the things you want and enjoy, and 20% of it will be things you don't like or could go without if you had the choice. Most people in life are unhappy because they spend too much time focusing on the 20 percent.  My mentor shared with me stories of folks who spent so much time and energy in the endless search for that missing 20 percent; completely ignoring and taking for granted the 80 percent in search for the perfect relationship or perfect job.

True happiness comes when we can stop focusing on the negatives, and learn to accept and deal with the imperfections. This does not mean to settle for less or accept everything or every person in your life that’s willing to accept you, even if it’s obviously not right for you. But it does mean that if there are occasional difficulties or challenges, or things that don’t go the way you planned in your head, you don’t have to jump to the bold conclusion that the entire relationship or opportunity is bad. There are always difficulties and negatives that you can focus on, but you can also choose to focus on the good. 

Constantly looking for signs of what’s not working is a sure fire way to build insecurities and feed into unhappiness.  Most of the time, a lot of the problems we see are made up in our own minds. Inventing problems in your mind and then believing them before they even manifest into reality is a clear path to self-sabotage.  We amuse ourselves too often with anxious predictions and deceive ourselves with negative thinking, causing our own anxiety and a mental state of hallucination about worst-case scenarios.  Too often we over-look the good, and feed into the bad…freaking ourselves out by assuming that the negative thoughts and visions we’ve created in our mind represent reality.

There are ups and downs, mood changes, moments of affection, moments of friction…we experience it all. We are not perfect, and that is normal and okay. We serve a good God who is perfect, so worry less and pray more. Spend your time and energy on the 80 percent, and don’t worry about the 20 percent. If you're in search of perfection, your search will never end.  The quality of our happiness grows when we stop focusing on being perfect, and focus on being real.  So choose happiness over perfection.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Blessings and love,


Marti Reed