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Wabi Sabi--Finding Beauty in the Imperfect

Updated: Jul 28, 2022


As an oddball, I've learned to accept and appreciate imperfection. Wabi Sabi is the philosophy of finding beauty in imperfection--right up my alley.

You probably know that perfectionism can create pressure and interfere with your ability to enjoy life. If you're tired of trying to be flawless, you might want to contemplate wabi-sabi as an alternative approach. It's a Japanese concept about finding beauty in imperfections.

Wabi Sabi refers to simplicity and natural grace while sabi refers specifically to the beauty that develops through age. When you put them together, you have a formula for living more peacefully and joyfully.

Run down this checklist of wabi-sabi ideas you can practice at home and at work.

Practicing Wabi-Sabi at Home:

1. Learn to relax. Wabi-sabi starts with slowing down. When you reduce stress, you enhance your health and perform more effectively. Create a daily meditation practice or listen to instrumental music after dinner.

2. Accept yourself and others. Love yourself, and know that you are worthy just the way you are. Look for the positive qualities in others and be quick to forgive disappointments.

3. Eat simply. Gourmet dining can sometimes be fun, but you can feed yourself and your family nutritious and delicious foods without putting an extra burden on yourself. Master simple recipes and cook large batches of food that you can freeze for later.

4. Exercise gradually. Stick to your workout plans even if you can squeeze in only 15 minutes of yoga or running on busy days. A little activity is more beneficial than abandoning your routine altogether.

5. Streamline chores. Examine your routine tasks and set priorities. Maybe you only need to vacuum low traffic areas once a week. Perhaps your children are old enough to clean their rooms and sort their laundry for themselves.

6. Play with your kids if have them. Speaking of children, blocking out time for shared fun could be good for your mental health as well as your relationship. Lose yourself in finger painting or jumping rope without making judgments about how well you did. 7. Walk your dog, pet your cat, or you companion animal. Pets can also be excellent role models. Imagine being able to fully appreciate a simple nap or a chew toy that has been worn down to a few scraps.

Practicing Wabi-Sabi at Work:

1. Schedule downtime. Preparing for the unexpected may actually increase your productivity. You'll be able to respond to unplanned events without falling behind on your agenda. You may even feel more resilient.

2. Ask for help. Reaching out for guidance and assistance is a sign of strength rather than a weakness. Taking prompt action to find the support you need helps you to do your job successfully rather than causing delays that could also affect others.

3. Promote others. Maybe there are tasks that others can do more skillfully than you. Acknowledging your coworkers' talents and strengths shows you value teamwork.

4. Take risks. If you rarely sustain any setbacks, you may be trying too hard to avoid failure instead of embracing valuable opportunities. Think about the areas where you want to grow and develop relevant proposals to present to your boss. 5. Learn from experience. When you do make a miscalculation, own up to the fact and focus on what you need to do to recover. What can you do differently next time to get the results you want?


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