How to Find Your Cotton Candy (and Eat It Too!)

Most women love surprises. Wouldn’t you agree?

I know I do and recently I’ve been reading Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

This “cleaning and organizing” book is FILLED with surprises. It’s unlike any other. Not only does it have great home tips, it’s also jam-packed with delightful life lessons. Jackpot!

So delightful and impactful that I had to share them with you…

While Marie currently makes a living teaching her method one-on-one in Japan, she’s been fascinated by organizing concepts since the age of five, and reveals a lot of her early experiments that didn’t go so well:

… I spent my days examining what was in the drawers and cupboards and moving things a few millimeters at a time, trying to find the perfect arrangement… I fell under the illusion that storage was some form of intellectual contest, the object of which was to see how much I could fit into a storage space by rational organization. If there were a gap between two pieces of furniture, I would squeeze in a storage unit and stack it with things, gloating triumphantly when the space was filled… I was constantly in fighting mode.

Okay, so maybe the young Marie sounds a bit too enthusiastic about her organizing efforts… but what came to my mind was this question:

How much energy are you spending adjusting your life a few millimeters at a time?

Marie was fascinated by the idea that if her system – or herself? – was just a little bit more perfect, then she would feel peaceful. She kept tweaking, but even if she managed to squeeze everything in there was always another mountain to conquer. Around and around she went… never done… never at peace… never feeling 100% accomplished. I know there are women (like me) out there who can relate.

Recently, I had a lot of interaction with a sweetie who struggles with a similar mindset – we’ll call her Perfectionist Polly. Polly had a major life project to organize. Now, Polly is actually great at organizing projects, but the stress of this particular project pushed Polly a bit over the edge. Her attention to detail became too much to handle. Her pursuit of perfection started to drive me batty!

Now, Perfectionist Polly is a lovely soul and was entirely unaware of how her efforts were bothering me, so I evaluated my three options:

  1. I could join her on the merry-go-round and we could both adjust details until we were exhausted.
  2. I could get on a completely different merry-go-round of micro-managing Polly’s approach, or…Get off the merry-go-round of perfection and go get yourself some cotton candy!
  3. I could decide that the rides weren’t for me, and go get some cotton candy.

I chose the third option. Yay, candy!

The lesson is this: While aiming to be our best selves is good and admirable, we’ll never get our peace – our cotton candy – if perfection is the goal.

Obsession with perfection is the thief of peace.

Switch your focus to peace instead of perfection and better results can almost always be guaranteed – plus delicious treats!

What does YOUR cotton candy look like? Let me know in the comments below.






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Cotton Candy is a metaphor for all the "sweet stuff" you want out of life: peace, love, joy, happiness... You'll have to read this week's blog to really get it.
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