Zen and the Art of Shaving

Share I recently learned something about shaving.

For most of my 36 years of shaving (I started at 13), I have hated it. It takes too long, it's boring, and I end up with so many cuts that I look like I had an allergy test battery run on my face. And I'm not even all that particular about whether I am clean-shaven or not.

Then, a couple weeks ago, I realized something: I press too hard.

I let my zeal to shave every whisker down to just below the root take over every time, and for what? Even if I achieved perfect smoothness, the 5 or 10 gushing wounds I leave behind undermine the effect. And the fact is, I DON'T CARE if I have a 5 o'clock shadow at 4:45 p.m., and who's really looking anyway?

I know there are people who say anything worth doing is worth doing right, but "right" is not binary. It's not either "right" or "not right." Achieving 95% perfection, or even 90% perfection, might qualify as "right."

And settling for no less than 100% perfection might instead result in significant flesh wounds and psychic damage. You might even end up not leaving the house for fear of rolling out a result that is less than perfect (we might be into the metaphor stage here).

Now I don't mind shaving nearly so much, I don't end up hurting myself nearly as often, I don't obsess about perfection and yet I still appear to be clean-shaven (enough).

So my thought for you today: Maybe don't press so hard.

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