Health & Spirit

Who Knew? Letting Go of a Star Can Be Heavenly

Marilynn Preston on

"Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people," Anne Lamott writes in her classic book, "Bird by Bird."

It's that inner voice we all hear from time to time, telling us we have to climb higher, work harder, work longer -- or else! Or else what? Or else you might lose that third Michelin star!

ACCEPTANCE. Whoever said that perfect is the enemy of good captured something perfectly true: Personal well-being doesn't depend on being perfect. Or being the best. It wants you to like yourself just for being very good. Or for making your best effort.

Accepting yourself -- imperfections and all -- is a kick-starter to changing your behavior, moving toward a healthier lifestyle. Bras knew he would be happier and his well-being would improve without the stress and pressure of that third Michelin star. And he acted on it. And that's what liberation feels like.

PERSONAL WELL-BEING POP-QUIZ. Question 1: Is it time for you to let go of something that you've worked hard to achieve and maintain but that no longer serves you? Priorities change. As the years fly by, so might your interest in working 70-hour workweeks. Top French chefs must be extreme workaholics, says Yves Bontoux, a consultant to six French Michelin-starred restaurants, because that's what's required, that's the challenge. "Three stars mean that everything must be perfect, at any time, in every plate," he explains in The New York Times piece on Bras. "You have to be working in your restaurant from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day, nonstop."

Question 2: Do you feel the pressure and stress of working too long and enjoying your life too little?

Question 3: Is there something you can do to enhance your well-being and restore balance to your life?

Question 4: What are you waiting for?

Bon appetit!


"Nothing is too much trouble if it turns out the way it should." -- Julia Child


Marilynn Preston is the author of Energy Express, America's longest-running healthy lifestyle column. Her new book "All Is Well: The Art {and Science} of Personal Well-Being" is available now on Amazon and elsewhere. Visit Creators Publishing at to learn more. For more on personal well-being, visit

Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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