#615 There Are No Perfect Relationships

And We Won’t Be the First Couple to Have One

A couple +1s ago, we talked about Hero Jessica’s kind words and then had fun talking about Mr. Anonymous Troll Guy as well. 🤓

Today I want to talk about a line from Jessica’s little note that I didn’t share before.

In addition to her kind words about my commitment to sharing my own struggles and how that has helped her build resilience, she said this: “Furthermore, the partnership he and Alexandra have built is exemplary — I only wish they weren’t so hard to emulate!”

Now, again, I’m super touched by that and honored that we serve as potential relationship exemplars and I know Jessica wasn’t saying that she thought we were perfect…


(Laughing as I type this…)

As Maslow said and we discuss ALL THE TIME (but still nowhere near enough!), THERE ARE NO PERFECT HUMANS. And, by extension, THERE ARE NO PERFECT RELATIONSHIPS.

And, as I always like to say: You and I won’t be the first perfect people. Nor will we have the first perfect relationship. (At least Alexandra and I certainly won’t!)

Here’s what’s funny.

The morning after we received that note (LITERALLY the morning after!), Alexandra and I got into a nice little argument. Now, to be clear, we weren’t crazy yelling at each other or anything, but it was a nice little testy one. (Laughing.)

About what?

Well, that’s the best part.

Basically about the proper way to Optimize and build sustainable habits. (Laughing.)

I won’t bore you with the details but the point I want to make is that, and I know this is obvious but I want make sure we’re all on the same page, WE AREN’T PERFECT. Individually or together.


Again, I realize that’s obvious, but I want to make it jumbo explicit.

Why do you think I work so hard on this stuff? And why do you think I come back to the same themes again and again and again?

BECAUSE I NEED IT!!! (More laughter.)


So, yah. There ya go.

btw: In a chat with Cal Newport not too long ago (we’re actually chatting in a couple hours—which I’m really looking forward to), we talked about my Big 3: Energy + Work + Love. He was breaking it down with his “I-have-a-Ph.D.-from-MIT brain” when I shared my Wildly Important Goal for “Love.” It’s always evolving but, basically, it’s to celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary with Alexandra and be best friends with my adult kids.

I told him that no one sets a goal like that unless not hitting it is a possibility. (Laughing yet again.) In other words, Alexandra and I being married in another 39 years isn’t a foregone conclusion. We have challenges like everyone else. And, we’ll choose to work on them and preserve/Optimize our relationship as a key component of our Optimizing and actualizing or we won’t.

But the challenge remains. For all of us.

Again, I repeat, off the soapbox now in a more relaxed tone: There are no perfect human beings; and, there are no perfect relationships.

So, I’m honored to be an exemplar for those who find inspiration in my life and I’m absolutely (!!!) committed to being worthy of that role.

AND… 🤓

That’s Today’s +1.

Let’s remember that NO ONE is perfect. And, as hard as we work, we won’t be the first.

Then let’s rub our hands together at all the challenges we face and strive to be imperfect, always-Optimizing-and-actualizing exemplars for our families, communities and world.

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