Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Progress Is Perfection May 26, 2013

Like so many things, words are what we make them. And in my humble opinion, there are far too many nouns in this world. Too many words that mean something instead of do something. That changes today.

If a noun is lazy, breathe life into it. Make it a verb. Take the word journey, for example. Whether it was career-related, a physical trip somewhere, or purely emotion, we’ve all been on a number of journeys in life. How did the paths lead? What do you remember? What was the destination? Have you reached it yet?

Progress is PerfectionMerriam-Webster and Bing both cite “journey” first as a noun and then as a verb. To me, it should be the other way around. We ought journey onward rather than simply be on a journey. Sure, it might sound like semantics to some, but let me explain.

The progress along the way, the scenery if you will, is often the highlight of the journey itself. And in a world encompassed by the constant pressure-cooker of perfection, progress is a pretty important part of every journey. Yet commercials showcasing the next revolutionary skincare regime, magazines with their airbrushed models, and high standards at school, work, and even at play, I’d say perfection is at a premium in modern society.

Meanwhile, great transcendentalist thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson challenged that “a man is what he thinks about all day long.” Well then, it’s no wonder to me why progress has become synonymous with failure to so many in today’s world of bigger, better, brighter and faster. Instead, we need to recognize progress rather than focusing so much on destination perfection. We may as well give up on perfection without first finding joy in progress.

“Advance, and never halt, for advancing is perfection,” Lebanese-American writer and poet Khalil Gabrin said. Rightly so, advancing is the verb and perfection is the noun synonymous with the destination at the end of a long journey.

Like I said, words are what we make them. And (at least to me) there are far too many words that mean something instead of do something. That changes today. If a noun in your life is being lazy, breathe life into it. Make it a verb. Don’t simply go on a journey. Journey through life with courage enough to do more than seek happiness, joy, and fulfillment. Don’t seek these things. Seek progress by instead being these things. By being happiness, joy, and fulfillment and you’ve already reached your destination.


21 Responses to “Progress Is Perfection”

  1. Bongo Says:

    Life is full of adventures and you find them while you are journeying.

    • Indeed – I love life’s little adventures! Especially the ones you don’t even realize you’re on, and then something magical happens. Thanks for coming by. I love seeing new paw prints on my pages! πŸ™‚

  2. […] Progress Is Perfection (wileyschmidt.com) […]

  3. Someone once told me Life is a journey, not a destination.
    Loved your post

  4. Purnimodo Says:

    Well spoken Wiley! Love Khalil Gibran. Thanks for the inspirational message.. makes a nice start of the week πŸ™‚

  5. I agree Wiley to make words is not to do something. Mr. Twain said, words are only painted fire – a look is the fire itself. Have a great memorial Monday

  6. You are singing my song, Wiley. I’m all about progressing. I journey through all the things I’m learning, and just can’t seem to reach the destination which I’m pretty sure is perfection (THAT will NEVER happen). It’s wonderful that I’m able to journey so happily, forever.

    Love and licks,

  7. catchatcaren Says:

    love the idea of making a noun a verb…genius!

  8. Oh Master Wiley–such wise words. I will keep them in mind as I sit down for a day of writing. Thank you!

  9. likeitiz Says:

    Very wise. Happiness as a byproduct, not the end in itself.

  10. Reblogged this on Wiley's Wisdom and commented:

    On the journey, which I feel is as fun as the destination itself.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s