I responded to another blogger recently who had a column about not worrying if things are perfect. I totally get it, and concur. My motto is “good enough”.
Life if too short to worry about keeping my home spotless (it will NEVER happen), or my hair always styled, or doing my best to perfection at anything.
Growing up, my mom always said if I just did my best in school, than that was good enough. I didn’t always get an A, but I usually did the best that I was able. On the farm, I learned to work hard. So I have a good work ethic. Maybe not perfect, because even now, or especially now, some days I just throw in the towel at 2 or 3 pm, and say “Good enough” for today. I just can’t work any more.
My dad always made really straight rows in the farm garden. Two sticks, with twine stretched out in between, and the row was perfect straight, the row hoed beneath that line. I am not that careful. My aim is to get the seeds or plants in the ground. I take my hoe and make a row, with no twine, no guideline. My rows are not as straight as my fathers. “Not perfect, but good enough” I say to myself. I figure the plants don’t care one way or the other.
My husband, clearly is more like my father. Very meticulous, very orderly when doing a job. I understand with equipment repairs and machinery that certain things need to be done certain ways, and carefully. I would not be the perfectionist he is. Nail pops in dry wall drive him crazy. Kudo’s to him when the health inspection officer told him that he rarely saw a septic system dug with perfect corners, as my husband was proud to do. Me, I’d just dig a hole, and say “good enough”. Different philosophy, different talents.
Most work has some minimum standard to be met. And of course we should do at least the minimum, and often more.
But if you find yourself driven to distraction over something, stand back a minute. Ask yourself if the situation will really be that much better if you can only get “xxx” right. Often the stress of trying to be perfect is worse for you than outcome of perfection would be.
The world today is so fast, everyone expects an immediate response to email or texts…the goal of meeting everyone’s expectations, or trying to do everything perfectly is unrealistic. There is always too much to do, always more work on the list. I have learned, my list never has an end.
So take a deep breath, think about the goal of the process you are involved in, and ask “Is this good enough?”. Maybe not, and you have to work some more. But often, Good Enough can be just Perfect.