BS Files #9: Good enough is the enemy of great
The BS Files are kinda like the X-files – full of myths and urban legends and mysterious things. I feel that it is my duty to tackle them (occasionally). Because, you know, the truth is out there.
Case #9. Good enough is the enemy of great! Bullshit!
This myth gained popularity thanks to Jim Collins. You’ve also probably heard Voltaire’s opposite, that perfect is the enemy of good. Another myth, also bullshit. Sometimes.
Here’s the real deal: Good, good enough, mediocre, great and perfect don’t need to be enemies.
Bottom line: We don’t need more enemies. We don’t need to look at things in terms of enemies in order to understand the world or our lives better. We don’t need more black and white thinking.
Black and white thinking limits our abilities to see options. It comes out of our primitive brain, which interprets everything in terms of our survival: is it a threat, yes or no? Friend or foe? Just using the word ‘enemy’ evokes a threat. (Can you feel that in your body? I can.)
Black and white thinking turns off access to the creative parts of our brains. It severely affects our ability to make decisions that are in our own best interest. We think we are limited, that we only have two options, and we respond with some degree of feeling trapped and stuck, maybe even with desperation.
Colorful thinking, creative thinking give us options. We can see the options already in front of us, and we can think of even more options!
Okay, so once we change the language and the way of thinking, there’s still a bit more to say on this topic.
Sometimes good enough is good enough and there is nothing wrong with that.
Sometimes perfectionism is a waste of time that really does keep us stuck.
Sometimes perfect is magical, and quite subjective.
Sometimes we are called to be great at something, but not all things.
Sometimes good is part of the journey to better.
I could almost copy and past this from a previous BS Files: “First, there is no ONE way to do anything because there is no One Size Fits All, remember? There are many ways.” Okay, not almost, because I just did.
Truth: There is no one right answer, there’s the best fit for you right now.
Truth: You get to choose if a situation calls for good, bad, good enough, greatness or perfection. You choose.
Truth: Creative thinking and choice are really good friends.
And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!
Love and light,
p.s. Want help figuring something out? If you’d like to talk about it, send me an email and we can set up a time to chat. firstname.lastname@example.org
p.p.s You might say that Jim Collins was talking about business. So what, business is just people doing stuff.
Have a topic for the BS files? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!