Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Jeff Skolnick, M.D., Ph.D.
Jeff Skolnick M.D., P.h.D.

Can Life Be Perfect?

The answer may surprise you

happy family

Let’s establish two very important points.

First, every one of us struggles throughout life — some more than others. Even the one person on the planet who struggles the least still faces significant challenges — a poignant struggle — just because they’re a mortal human. It really isn’t easy being us…you!

Equally true, most humans are capable of living in blissful peace and a natural high — feeling fulfilled each moment. That’s been known since ancient times. Realizing this on some level, most of us yearn for the life of which we can only dream.

So, how do you get from one end to the other, from the distress that comes with being a human to the peak life of which people are capable? To help you begin that journey, let’s begin with this provocative question: Can life be perfect?

Most of you thinkers will immediately shake your head and say, “Of course not. Nothing is perfect.” Or, “What does perfect even mean? It’s not definable.”

Some of you more emotive readers will say, “Of course, everything is just perfect the way it is.” You know, the ”it’s all good” folks. (Of course, often that’s until it isn’t.)

To answer this crucial question, here are a few things you should know.

First, people tend to equate ‘perfect’ with ‘ideal.’ I think they’re different. ‘Ideal’ to me means that you have some preconceived vision. That you are imagining an idyllic, quintessential, stereotypical best life or thing. Those notions usually get implanted into us from our childhood and popular culture, even though — dare I say — we think they are our own.

Second, we are all — all of us — programmed to seek an ideal life, the ideal mate, children, parents, childhood, vacation, future, job, personality, outfit for the party…you get the idea.

Do those things exist? No, actually. They’re only ideal in your mind. Some things may come close: “Hey, I do look good” or “Wow, my kids are awesome.” But this usually comes with a: “yes, but if only _____ were a bit more….”

Most of the time life, mates, children, parents, childhood, the future….you, don’t even come close to your hopes and expectations. We could all write a book on dashed hopes and expectations. (That happens, by the way, even when things go “well” by all accounts. Think about the unhappy lives of some rich and famous people.)

In other words, there is no ideal anything. Nothing in reality can meet the high bar your mind can create. Which is why many of you would answer my query with: “Absolutely not, life cannot be perfect.” And in a sense, you’d be right.

However, ’perfect’ can mean something else. It can mean some inherent, built-in quality that something has just because it exists. You can see this the easiest when you’re truly in-love.

When you’re in-love with a person, place or thing, such as a baby, a lover or a house, that helps you come closest to seeing its “perfection.” You love “your old house” not in spite of the fact that it isn’t modern or big, but because you see its quirks as having charm or warmth — maybe loaded with memories. When you’re in-love, you appreciate the fact that your lover has some body feature others wouldn’t find all that appealing. To you it makes him or her “cute.” The baby’s pooping and peeing is adorable when you’re in-love with it (a condition usually reserved for grandparents).

So, I ask you again, can life be perfect?

Yes, if you’re in-love with it! That’s the key to blissful peace and a natural high. To feeling fulfilled each moment.

So, what does it take to experience life that way??? That $64,000 dollar question has everything to do with how you align your brain!

If you want to begin realigning your brain, so you can find the perfection in your life, I have a free video series you can watch. It includes two deceptively simple, yet powerful brain exercises. Find them at

About the Author
Jeff Skolnick, M.D., Ph.D.

Jeff Skolnick, M.D., Ph.D., is a psychiatrist. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Washington.

More from Psychology Today

More from Jeff Skolnick M.D., P.h.D.

More from Psychology Today