You know what phrase I love? Besides “Fortune favours the bold” (which to me just means — Be Brave!)? I love the phrase “Good Enough”. I say it all the time. At work and in motherhood. We waste so much time and opportunity not being ready – or thinking that we’re not ready, and not putting ourselves out there soon enough. Good enough is short for “Screw it — this is Good Enough to put out there. It may not be perfect, but I like it”. Why aren’t you writing or painting or posting those pictures you took? Why am I not blogging more? Why is it taking me so long to add the next feature that I want to the app? I can tell you why — it’s because cause we’re not saying “Good Enough!”. We’re waiting until things are exactly perfect to move forward. And it sometimes means that you never make the move. It’s a huge downfall. Lots of people think so:
Like Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook’s motto used to be “Move Fast and Break things”. You know what that means? It means adapt, change, try things, and put it out there even if you’re not totally sure that it’s ready … and if you mess things up? Screw it. Try again.
Like Nike. What the heck do you think “Just Do It” means? It means just try. Just go. Just start. Get out there. Just do it.
Like Hilary Clinton. “And I think this…”perfectionist gene” that too many young women have holds them back, and instead they should be really aiming for “good enough.” You don’t have to be perfect. Most men never think like that. They’re just trying to figure out what’s the opening and how they can seize it.”
And Jude Apatow about Lena Dunham. “Whenever I talk about how to get a job and how to do things, I always talk about Lena, because Lena made a movie….. Lena did the thing that most people don’t do: she got a crappy video camera and a drunken friend and made a movie, and then she made another movie, and then she found a friend who wasn’t drunk to hold the camera. And for $40,000 she made ‘Tiny Furniture,’ which looks like a million-dollar movie, looks beautiful.” You know what that is? That’s doing a lot of Good-Enough-ing. She tried to make a movie … it was probably mediocre, but whatever, she did it. Then she made another that was probably better. And eventually she got a break.
Yes – I understand the flip side. There are times when “good enough” isn’t the best approach. Surgery, perhaps. Bridge design. But hey — I’m not a surgeon … so maybe there’s some good-enoughness there that I don’t know about.
And this philosophy applies to motherhood ten-fold. Is he wearing a clean shirt? No. Is he wearing A shirt? Good Enough! Only brushed half her teeth today because she’s in a grouchy mood tonight? Good Enough. Birthday present wrapped in newspaper instead of with a ribbon? Good Enough. Dirty dishes stacked on the counter instead of in the dishwasher before a guest arrives? Good Enough. Unmatching socks? Good Enough!
Not worth stressing over. And not worth being anxious about perfection for. Embrace the “Good Enough”. Life is short. Don’t waste it being perfect at things that don’t matter.
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