Never really happy with anything… Pursuit for Perfection

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    Hi Tim

    Thank you for your post. It is good to read that I am not alone because as you said I do feel alone and outside of life. You seem to be in a very similar situation to me.

    I will talk to my wife but I do feel she will feel helpless. She is already doing so much. She is saying to me that she can’t do anymore and is getting tired. She wants me to do a little more. I am thinking we need some home help so it takes some of the burden off her but she is not up for it.
    In the past I have suggested getting babysitters but she is not up for this also. I think it is all about having people in our house and looking after our young ones who we don’t know. She has mentioned many times that she doesn’t want to bring up our kids like my parents did with me. I had many live-in nannies when I was very young. She feels parents should bring up kids and not pay for someone to do it.
    I know what she means but I think just house keeping help would be some assistance and take that stress away.

    Seeking help and talking openly is not something I do with close people I know. I find it easier to talk to new people.

    One thing I have noticed which adds anxiety to myself and my wife is the importance my family give to what other people think. I have been brought up with this totally ingrained in me. Dress properly, talk properly… What will people think.. I see it in family from my side soo much and it drives me crazy. I know I do it also. I think there is some thought we should give but not let it run our lives. Example: my mother did Christmas lunch this year. She was so insistent that the lunch is perfect! Must have all the expected bits and pieces. I told her she should take it easy and create a simple lunch. Then she was insistent that our kids have brand new clothes. We thought does it matter really… It is just family and as long as they dress smartly and are comfortable that’s all should matter.

    I remember growing up people would ask “what do you want to do when you grow up”. I used to say a surgeon because that’s what was expected of me. I had no real desire to do this.
    It just shows the fakeness I and people have to show to the outside world. More so to family and friends. I had pressure to do well at school but I just was not academic. I look back and wish parents or teachers would encourage me to have done something I enjoyed.

    I hope for a better world for my kids. I hope I can be an open and encouraging father. I notice myself drawn into the wrong way of thinking because that is the world I grew up in and still live in.

    I have had a really unlucky 2015 and I hope for a more fruitful 2016.

    But I keep thinking what matters most Arran is your wife and kids. They should e happy and that is my life goal now. Doesn’t matter what other people think of me or my family.


    Dear Arran:

    Living according to your own values then… Make an effort to move away from the old What Would People Think and toward What Arran Think is Right. If you structure and restructure your life according to your values, from the small things to the bigger things, you will find yourself motivated and feeling alive.

    Make 2016 be the year when more than any other, in everything you do, you make yourself count, follow your own way, like in that song by Frank Sinatra, “I did it my way: I just googled the lyrics, here are some of the words:

    “And now, the end is near
    And so I face the final curtain
    My friend, I’ll say it clear
    I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain

    …For what is a man, what has he got?
    If not himself, then he has not
    To say the things he truly feels
    And not the words of one who kneels”

    “For what is a man, what has he got if not himself, then he has not. To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels.” Life is not worth living for those who kneel. Living on one’s knees is not motivating. Living on one’s feet… well, that will make a better year!




    I am sorry for your suffering.

    It is a delight that you wish happiness upon your being so that your family may also encompass it. To perceive that our suffering affects others is a grand recognition. To want to take action for not only the well being of others but also ourselves is also correct. How are we to help eachother if our own beings are troubled? This, along with the recognition and admittance of the other characteristics you listed, are already substantial steps in assisting you on your journey to acquire happiness; or self-love. To apprehend that which obstructs us is something many fail to grasp, resulting in prolonged chaotic existence. Hence, please try to find some relief in this.

    My friend, indeed traits that have been bored and ingrained in us overtime are understandably difficult to harmonize. However, instead of displaying frustration at this, we should be more sympathetic and gentle towards ourselves. We are not supposed to deftly handle all that enters our lives. A chain smoker should not be expected to just simply quit (for the most part). He must take baby steps. Don’t you believe this also applies to you? In this endeavor, and other difficult ones, we must only think progress; never speed. I hope you will use this to help calm the perfectionist attribute rooted in you. Also, reiterating our life-affirming beliefs can also help. Recalling why our existence, this existence, is worth living and experiencing can inspire action and/or change. If none have been made or are to be found, then another journey is simply in order. However, this should not be taken as somber news. With the correct mindset, we can make this endeavor fun; similar to a child in a candy store. Sure, we are guaranteed to experience bad flavors, but, we are also guaranteed to have delicious ones. Is it possible we may find a flavor so gratifying, so worth our exhausting search, that it makes us not want to give up on candy? In this vast and expansive world that we live in, do you believe you will never find the ‘candy’ that will bring you your true joy?

    I hope this helps and please forgive any grammatical errors.


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