This week I have been thinking about the concept of “good enough” versus great. Another way to put it is “good enough” versus perfection. This thought process all started as I evaluated my strengths and weaknesses in view of potential future career moves. Last night, I came to the realization that I will likely never be the best in the world at anything. The reality is that only a minuscule percentage of our population will ever be the greatest… poet, athlete, leader, dancer, or entrepreneur on the planet, at any given time. While at first glance this may seem a little depressing and self-defeating, this truth should provide us the freedom needed to strive to be the best we can personally be. In my experience, the pressure to be perfect (or the greatest in the world) tends to cripple more individuals than it helps. We live in an imperfect world that requires grace to make success possible.
I recently read an Entrepreneur.com blog post entitled “Your Secret Mental Weapon: Don’t Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of Good”. This post addresses the importance of balancing our desire for perfection (being the greatest in the world) with a more realistic concept of being good. In the article, author Neil Patel (2015) states “The pursuit of perfection is noble, but unless we’re willing to settle for “good,” we may have to settle for nothing at all.” Likewise, our pursuit at being the greatest in the world is noble, but unless we can be happy achieving our personal best, we may not achieve anything at all.
Are you able to acknowledge that you will likely never be the best in the world at your chosen profession or hobby? Does that acknowledgement inspire or discourage you in achieving your personal best?
Patel, N. (August 31, 2015). Don’t Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of Good. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/249676