Pass the P's Please: Parkinson's, Perfection, Practice, and Passion!
What you think will hurt you, can rise up and help you. I was prepared for shock when told that Parkinson's was the diagnosis. Years before I had been informed that Bipolar Depression was the diagnosis. Therefore, my “traveling by detour” is two-fold. Each of us will be familiar with ups and downs, awkwardness, and frustration – and on occasion, deep loss. Just this morning I heard of a horrific airline crash in France. In our country, the west has been inundated with mud slides and the northeast has been hammered with a trilogy of winter storms this year.
Every presentation that I give I refer to my Parkinson's within the first five minutes. Once you diffuse the beast, those with whom you are communicating receive your words as a permission to “travel by detour.” Your opportunity to diffuse your beast may present itself in a variety of ways. Once you have diffused your beast, you have set the stage for leading by example. Over the years I have discovered that our audiences are so open with me because I am so open with them.
A discovery of perfection mentally, emotionally, and physically, is an illusion. Practice does not make for perfect, practice makes for better. This third element, practice, is therapeutic. As I practice my presentations and refine my approach to writing, I continue to improve.
Our fourth P – following Parkinson’s, perfection, and practice – is passion; not a passion that you find, but a passion that finds you. You are free from the burden that equals the pursuit of perfection. The issue is not your perfection – but a genuine desire to make a difference in life. It is as if you become a wounded healer. Yearning trumps earning.
As you “travel by detour,” you need to be sure that following arrows are in you quiver. You have the capacity to diffuse the beast; you have the realization that practice does not make for perfect; but for better; you have the passion that appears as a pleasant surprise; and finally, you have the determination to differentiate between happiness and joy. Happiness depends on circumstances; joy defies circumstances.
My book, Traveling By Detour: Living with Struggle and Surprise, details my own story.