Byron's Babbles

Wabi Sabi Leadership

Posted in Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development, Wabi Sabi by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on February 20, 2023

In our complex world of creativity, innovation, and disruption, imperfection is inevitable. And, last time I checked, nobody’s perfect. That is why I am glad I have an artistic mind and disposition. Art isn’t about being perfect. Art is about influencing others. Last night I was watching an episode of the Lethal Weapon television series and was reminded of the ancient Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi. The basic gist of Wabi-Sabi is for us to find beauty in imperfection. This philosophy can help us accept what is, stay in the present moment, and appreciate the simple, transient stages of life. Perfection really does not exist, but society has defined perfection for us. I read that the 2020 market for anti-aging products was $60 billion. Aging is natural, why do we want to look younger? I’m not sure I know the answer to that, but society teaches us we are not good enough.

“No palm tree is perfectly shaped, yet we marvel at the beauty with which it stands. No sea shell is perfectly drawn, yet we marvel at the beauty with which it curves. Accept and appreciate yourself as you are today, in your natural state, just like you would a tree in the forest, a flower in the garden, or a seashell by the shore. You are the entirety of you. You are whole. And you are beautiful.” ~ Omar Itani

All this does not mean we shouldn’t be striving for excellence. We should be striving for continual improvement, but we need to be defining what those improvements are. Wabi-Sabi brings us independence of thought.