THE BLOG
05/22/2014 07:04 am ET | Updated Jul 22, 2014

Flaws Are Perfect

"Never forget the meaning of life is to live it." -- Joey Reiman

A couple of years ago, my wife and I made a significant investment to upgrade our home. We decided our home needed granite countertops in the kitchen and Brazilian cherry hardwood floors throughout to give it the finishing touch. We didn't mind that we would be living in a construction zone for months; the end results would outweigh the pain in our estimation. The initial result matched our expectation -- it was beautiful.

Fast forward a few years and today we are experiencing the result of poor workmanship in both the installed countertops and floors. The contractor told us the Brazilian cherry hardwood floors would not show gaps, but today they contract in the winter (even with an upgraded humidifier) and expand in the summer. The granite countertops already have a few chips in them (I blame the cleaners), but more importantly, you can see the seams in the countertops, which have separated over time.

In essence, our major investment has numerous flaws! At first, the imperfections drove me crazy, but as time has gone by, I look at the imperfections as a unique part of the overall character of our home. Nothing in life is perfect, except in Photoshopped brochures. In life, we must accept imperfections as reality and try to look at the beauty of the overall picture.

It is the sales manager who discovers the person he interviewed and hired is not the person who showed up to work. The new hire has numerous imperfections. However, in the big scheme of things, can this person produce a satisfactory business outcome? Can the sales manager work within the strengths and weaknesses of this person to build a contributor to the team?

It is the kid who understands that his parents aren't perfect. Parents do their best, but we all make mistakes. Personally, I am not shy about having to apologize when I have misread a situation. I am a notorious shoot-and-then-aim parent, businessman, and spouse. But I do have the ability to laugh at myself as those closest to me remind me of my imperfections.

It is the parents who should be accepting their kids and understanding the value in embracing the unique gifts their children bring to this world. I am always amused by the fathers in Little League who have such high expectations of their children's play that they don't enjoy the overall beauty of the game and the experience. Kids make mistakes. Professionals make mistakes. Get over it.

Imperfections help you see the whole beauty of the world. We embrace the people who aren't perfect but authentic. Those who hold athletes, entertainers, and politicians to a different standard are bound to be disappointed.

When I train salespeople, I share the numerous mistakes I have made in selling. I have always felt that you learn more when you make a mistake and lose, than when you win. I walk my talk and try to execute the selling process I teach my clients, but I do not want to be held to unrealistic expectations. Selling is not an exact science. Everyone makes mistakes.

Life is about imperfections and embracing them.

What are some of your imperfections that add character to who you are?