By Alise Munson
For some of us, the word triggers anxiety about expectations, obligations and self-worth accompanied by a sharp grumble in the deepest gorges of our stomachs. The idea steals sleep, ignites fights and welcomes madness, but does it have to? What if we took back the word and lifted up the imperfect as authentic perfection? What if we adjust to define perfect as the inclusion of the imperfections of ourselves and our world?
"Perfect paralyzes you."
Lisa, another one of the 14 speakers, opened stores for Whole Foods and local chain New Seasons before opening her own store, Green Zebra Grocery, and taking out four liens on her home. Huge risk, but the rewards are there waiting to be won through work and faith.
But the show stealer was Frank Moore, 91, whose love for life, our rivers and his wife made his life nearly perfect.
Here are some of his nuggets of wisdom:
Always practice the art of living.
I realized that if you have love, you have everything.
Because of that gift of receiving love my entire life, I have not been afraid of giving love to other people.
They seem simple, but their complexity is profound.
In fact, they are so profound and worth sharing, that a documentary, Mending the Line, was recently made about the man and the legend. Funding ($50,000) was crowd-sourced. Franks shows us his WWII as he returns to France to fly fish and reconnect with his past. If the film is anything like his TEDx talk, you'll need a box of tissue and a hand to hold.
- Aaron Draplin - Advocate of #FreeFridays and thinking design big. Opponent of pants.
- Nong Poonsukwattana - Even though her start was heart-achingly rocky, Nong created a chicken + rice mini-empire from the idea of doing one thing perfectly.
- D'Wayne Edwards - A pencil started his life and a big-time career in shoe design.
- Cody Goldberg - He expects miracles and advocates play for ALL including those who are always rolling.
- James Keller - Teach your children well when it comes to tech.
- Zach King - Screw the ladder. Fame is now and cheap.
- Jackson Gariety - The smartest guy in the room and a high school dropout. He might be The One to clean up Zuckerberg's mess in the name of humanity.
- Zalika Gardner - Learn to really listen and magic happens.
- Andrew Revkin - “Bend, Stretch, Reach, Teach, Reveal, Reflect, Rejoice, Repeat.”
- Eric Giler - We don't need your stinkin' cords (or batteries).
- Isaiah Holt - Mistakes can be corrected with faith and hard work. He also loves his mom.
For me, TEDxPDX helped me take back "perfect." We need to be the best we can be, but we don't need to live in fear of the unattainable perfection. Embrace it all and love it. If you can't, change it until you can.
Keep it coming, TEDxPDX.