A Chaotically Joyous Life
It’s okay to strive for perfection, but learning to be okay with our imperfections gives us room to navigate the chaos of life.
You know, I have great admiration for people who consistently blog and release new content on a regular schedule. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve told myself that I wanted to publish a new blog entry every week, only to find myself publishing something new once a month – if that.
That admission comes with the recognition (and reluctant acceptance) that in some areas in my life, I’m like the rabbit in the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. I have short, intense bursts of creativity when I do lots of stuff, and then I take a break (often a very long break). In other areas of my life, I’m more like the turtle in the same story. I’m slow, but my progress is steady and consistent. My pattern of publishing new blog posts obviously falls under the first area.
Being okay with my wildly different approaches to life has been a struggle. I talk a lot about being okay with every aspect of one’s life, and I can say that I’m pretty good at being okay with most aspects of my life and the world around me. But, like every human being, I’m not perfect.
I often beat myself up when I live my life a little TOO much by discovery rather than by design. Having a plan for what I want (a design, if you will) helps me stay on track, but I love the excitement of “winging it.” Oh, I’ll admit that winging it has gotten me into trouble a fair number of times, but I have to acknowledge that waiting until the last minute (sometimes second) to get ready for something helps me focus.
What I’ve discovered in those “Oh, shit!” moments of intense focus and preparation is that my so-called procrastination wasn’t time wasted. In fact, it’s often time well spent because during that period of not doing anything, I’m mulling over all of the best possible ways I can do what I’ve committed to doing.
That’s not to say that I’m not stressed out because of a looming deadline. I am… but I’m also calm and hyper-focused the point where all of the ideas and scenarios I had been going over in my mind suddenly come into sharp clarity, and everything flows out in a chaotic, yet highly organized and beautiful stream that becomes exactly what I intended to create.
My creations may not be perfect, but they sure as hell are joyous, and that’s ultimately what I set out to create every time – a joyous experience.
In fact, writing this post has become a joyous experience for me because it’s morphing from a “mea culpa” into a full-on acceptance of my very eccentric, highly irregular, and often chaotic approach to life. It’s a recognition that this is the way I’ve always done things, and I’m okay with not being okay with it, while also embracing and loving it.
I was born in the Year of the Monkey of the Chinese zodiac, so none of this should be a surprise. I have the classic “monkey mind,” coupled with Shiny Squirrel Syndrome (a.k.a “Shiny Object” or “Squirrel!”) and an instant attraction to anything that makes me laugh. That’s a crazy recipe for joyous living, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Yes… at times it’s stressful and it makes me want to tear my hair out at times (hence, why I always keep it cut short), but I’m living a joyous life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Which begs the question… is there a single definition of what it means to live a joyous life? No. There are roughly 7.3 billion definitions of joyous living (and counting). The bottom line is that the only definition of joyous living that counts is yours. There may be themes that all of us can relate to, but you’re the only one who can adapt those themes to your circumstances. You’re the only one who knows what really brings you joy, and you’re the only one who can connect with those expressions of joy.
So whether you live a chaotically joyous life like me, or you prefer to live an organized, well-planned life, it doesn’t matter. Decide what works for you and be okay with your imperfections. Better yet, celebrate your imperfections! Know they exist to help you live the most joyous life you can.
Until next time (whenever that is), remember to live joyously.
About the Author
Appio Hunter is an author, speaker, spiritual guide, and a guy dedicated to raising our collective EQ. He uses his seminars and workshops to facilitate conversations about authenticity, alignment, awareness, and the experience of community, connection, and joy. Appio is also a weekly columnist with The Good Men Project and co-host of the Real Men Feel Show along with his good friend Andy Grant.