When Good Enough Truly Is Good Enough

This is the first summer in ten years that I’m happy, productive, and comfortable in my home office since I started using it – ten years ago.

I complained for a decade that the insulation-free attic and southern exposure made my office freezing in the winter and stifling from late spring through Halloween, even with the a/c set to subarctic.

I dreamed and schemed my perfect, temperate office for ages, but didn’t do a single, good enough thing to make it happen until last weekend, when I put up a pair of insulated, hand-me-down curtains. Perfect color. Took less than ten minutes. Cost zero dollars.

Working in my “new” 10-year-old office is finally a delight.

(OK, so I spent five more minutes figuring out how to arrange the fan to provide maximum air flow to me and minimal cord chewing access to a certain bunny I know.)

Even so, my new office arrangement is truly a case of good enough is good enough; it looks about the same as it did before, but feels and functions so very much better. 

Sometimes, excellence matters. That once in a lifetime celebration, a new car, a certain women’s soccer team in the World Cup Championship finals.

Other times, even excellence isn’t enough. I mean, if someone’s doing brain surgery on me, I don’t want excellence. I want perfection.

The problem, though, is when our desire for perfection leads to procrastination, which leads to a big fat nothing, or worse, being stuck with a barely functional office, or career, or life, for ten years.

Are there places where you’re letting perfectionism and procrastination get in the way of your ability to not just settle for, but also delight in, the good enough?

Maybe you don’t speak up at a meeting because you don’t think your ideas are good enough. Or don’t even bother applying for your dream job because you don’t have every single skill or type of experience in the job description.

You might even be procrastinating yourself out of the life, the work, the difference you want to make in the world because you don’t think your good enough desires, skills, dreams are good enough.

Whether you’ve been procrastinating your way toward unattainable perfection for ten years or ten minutes, it’s way past time to stop that nonsense and take some good enough action.

Speak up and share those bright ideas of yours, even if your voice shakes a little. Get that resume started with a good enough list with the details of every job you’ve held. Let that good enough accomplishment fuel you to complete your stellar resume. Take a good enough step toward the life, the work, the difference in the world that you want to create. Let it fuel your next good enough step, then the next, and the next.

When the situation demands excellence or perfection, do everything you can to attain that.

When it’s clear that good enough is good enough, go put up your equivalent of my wrinkled, hand-me-down, wonderful curtains and let that first step be the catalyst that supports your ongoing success.

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image: © 2019 Florence Moyer
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