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The Bravery behind Imperfection

Many of the equine riders I know are high achievers, they devote their lives towards a goal of competitive success that plays out in high level horsemanship, financial benefits and glory.


The choice to walk this road as a competitive equestrian leads you quite fast to the point that you understand that it does not all depends on you. It is also about the horse, about the money, the conditions you are training at and many more variables. A successful rider told me not long ago that the best improvement he felt in his training program followed the understanding that his horses will never feel perfect; there is always something that is not quite right, not quite in place and comfortable. He said; “once I stop chasing perfection, I am able to see the improvement progress from the imperfection. I believe it can always be a little bit better, but it will never feel perfect”. 


Why is it bravery?

Because the acknowledgment of imperfection means that you are making mistakes. That the perfect vision breaks down time after time and meets reality, which is messy, blurry and constantly changing. Same for life; Many of us have a long-term vision and dream, which gets us devoted to reaching them. Our expectation is to live our dream, to live our perfect vision, however reality is challenging, there will always be something that “holds you back”, something that slows the process towards achieving and living the perfect life. 


In this case the only thing that is left, the only thing that counts, is doing the best we can do at this point of time in life. In riding; once a rider lets go of “chasing perfection” and gives his attention to effort, awareness and acceptance he suddenly meets clarity. Effort plays out in the rider “coming to work” every single day with the intention to learn and improve. Awareness is the mindset which allows riders to improve, once we understand our imperfection, we find the element that needs to be improved, mentally and technically. The awareness is the ability of the rider to practice ugly. Acceptance is living this life based on the understanding that we cannot control everything, we can’t control reality, we can control our “being” in this life, the way we deal with the current reality. 


You are probably reading my words now and thinking of your life, so am I. I am constantly thinking of my life, the words that are coming out of my mind are clear but the thoughts aren’t. I believe that wellbeing and high performance come together, while high performance or success are the reflections of my wellbeing. Same as riding; it must start with effort - in this life nothing positive comes your way if you don’t put the effort in. the effort of learning how to be better, and grow. The effort to make the world you live in, your life, a better place to live in. All the work, the thoughts, the actions you take count. Awareness is the second element of wellbeing; Awareness of how this life is affecting you, are you being positive or negative? Are you thinking clearly or distracted by your internal chatter which might lead you in the wrong directions. Are you treating your surroundings fairly or being aggressive and ignorant? The answers that you provide to yourself will elevate your awareness, and help you adjust and readjust yourself into internal and external balance.


Third is Acceptance; understanding that this is your life, what is happening now is not necessarily for a reason, but it is happening. Some you can control but most of it is out of your control. What you can always control is the way you process reality and lead a path towards wellbeing. Accept today with whatever it brings to your life and face it. Face it as part of the life story you are living. The current reality is real, but in five minutes it will be considered as history, and by tomorrow it will be old news. Today is today, the sun or the rain, real or metaphorically, once you accept it you can put in the effort to grow, become aware of your journey and reach well-being. 






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