What a Stud Lizard Taught Me about Perfectionism


A few unplanned empty moments stretched ahead of me. I wondered, "Do I have enough time to sit down and write something meaningful?" I'd been avoiding writing for several days, in spite of a commitment to write a chunk of my book in the next few weeks. Writing was beginning to feel like a chore instead of a pleasure. In my inner conflict, it existed somewhere between a necessity and a waste of time.

Wasting time was familiar; after going inside the house a few times to get everything I needed, I finally settled into a comfortable chair with sunglasses and tea, ready to begin. Opening up my iPad, I realized I had forgotten to charge it. Dang, no juice. Undaunted, I pulled a small a leather bound book from my bag. I keep it for jotting down inspired thoughts, and it was as good a time as any to use it.  Once I also dug out a working pen, I looked up to see a little lizard coming closer to me by the potted succulents not far from my bare feet. He darted one way, then the other, then stopped as he seemed to be looking for something or someone. I watched as he began to do something fascinating: he was moving his body up and down, just like he was doing push-ups. They were push-ups. Nine, ten, eleven, he kept going, that tough little beast, I wondered, "Why would a lizard need to do push-ups? Who would he need to impress with tiny, well defined pecs?" His strength and endurance was impressive, his form streamlined. Beautiful. 

As so often is the case, nature had a lesson delivered by one of its creatures. As I struggled to organize myself to write, to do something "important," this little athlete, no bigger than my index finger, was working hard to get his push ups done. He (or maybe she) didn't shrink away from me, the huge human, when taking refuge might have been the safest course of action. No messing around, unlike the behavior of said human. This fearless lizard had decided to get to work, get it done, and do it the best way possible - naturally.

I was mesmerized by these perfect tiny push-ups, and it actually motivated me to write some more, to just do something and not wait for it to be perfectly planned. Spontaneity in organic movement can bring results. The lizard showed me how to be perfect without trying! Just start, do what nature has given you to contribute, and take a bit of a risk along the way. I began to write and the words flowed into my little book.

Not long after my epiphany, another larger lizard showed up to join the first one and began his own calisthenics. It turns out it's all in the name of males staking out territory and, clearly, to impress females. Just like writing, I realized, those push-ups represent a precursor to creativity and, ultimately, survival. In my case, my business will thrive as I write and get my message to my audience. Whether you are an entrepreneur, athlete, or student, doing what needs to be done and surrendering to the flow of it will take you to a higher level of results and eventual satisfaction. 

So there you have it - if we just write one word at a time, one tiny finger push-up after another, the message will take shape. Follow your path, ignore what others think of you, and just do your push ups! Take it from this lizard.

Write on.

Katie Peuvrelle