This moment is perfect. But far too often fear of not being perfect limits our ability to do anything and much more importantly our ability to do it well with ease and pleasure. How can we stay in the moment when so many people in our outside world are trying to kill creativity? Not maliciously necessarily but nonetheless it still happens. By rushing us through preparation, by pointing out our imperfections, by not accepting differences and leaving no room for exploration or creativity.
It is not necessary to always recite something word for word or exactly how the original person wrote it/performed it/composed it. Although I believe it is a good goal to strive to first do something as originally intended by the author/composer/creator before changing it to your interpretation and making it your own.
Often I tell my students “There are no word police out there”. No one will give you a ticket for saying a wrong word in a song. The only song I know you can’t mess up is The Star Spangled Banner mostly because everyone knows the words and perhaps because of the patriotic aspect. I love Ella Fitzgerald’s version of Mack the Knife when she forgets the words and goes into making them up and scatting. In this way a jazz artist has more room to express themselves through improvisation. If you want to be brilliant and you want creative freedom then you have to free yourself from perfection and allow for an occasional mistake.
So many people want to sing – probably about 80 percent or more. However they believe that they are not good enough to achieve the skill of singing or even the dream. Perhaps years ago someone told them they could not sing or that they will never be able to achieve that dream. So at that point they shut down and stop singing from that point on. So much of who we are is in our voice – speaking or singing! It is about expressions through our phrasing and inflection. If we are locked away or so afraid of being perfect we can’t even begin to imagine how to start letting the real and natural voice show. Eventually we give up, bombarded with old messages about how bad we sing or our inability to carry a tune. We have given up before we even try. We are defeated and the dream dies – but does it?
In giving up we are allowing the rules of perfection to win and in many ways we are saying “you are right I am not perfect and I am not good enough”. So why even try?
I suggest instead we give up on perfection – let a little go at a time – maybe you start by adding a sound (a note in the chord) or replace a word. Replace a whole phrase. This may take some time and practice but it can be done. Start small.
Why does the world at large seem to be looking for imperfection? What is it about man or mankind that draws us to the cracks – the imperfections?
We all can take a closer look at perfection, not being perfect and how we feel when we let go of the need to be perfect.
Often I have told my students that some of my most interesting moments have been right after I have made a mistake. I need to let go of the mind stuff that happens and the fact I may have made a mistake or screwed something up. I suggest letting go of the mistake as quickly as possible and move on to the next moment. I have had some of my best moments after a mistake and then the magic can happen. Acceptance is freedom and imperfection can be perfection.