Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese philosophy of living. It means to see and appreciate the beauty in imperfection. The white brick wall above is wabi-sabi, the uniqueness or beauty is in the imperfection of the wall. The uneven mortar, different size bricks, and colors are not uniform. Wabi-sabi is a reminder that life is always in a state of progress or change and nothing that exists from a simple idea to a hard white brick wall, a human or tree in nature is stagnant or perfect.
We all have appreciated and noticed the wabi-sabi in something special – the simple art from a child, an uneven handmade pottery bowl, or an unusual old vase that has a unique crack down the side, that we can’t seem to sell. Everything is in a state of flux and change and appears imperfect – but it is not.
The personal attitude of honoring wabi-sabi is helpful in everyday life. In actuality, wabi-sabi is a sign of life. Taking this attitude into the workplace will put a lot of things into perspective; so-called problems arise and then are solved. To believe that everything should go right all the time will only lead to unhappiness.
I often see my marketing work as one small imperfection after another that slowly develops into the final ‘perfect’ message, logo, article, brochure or idea. As time goes on, changing and tweaking marketing programs and concepts truly means the product, service or company is living or operating as it should. Imperfection is not only beautiful it motivates and invokes effort or vitality. To eliminate imperfection is to destroy expression.
So when you are striving for perfection, remember wabi-sabi along the way. Each step to what seems to be perfection is truly experiencing the beauty in each moment of imperfection.