This month you get at least two posts, lucky you! This one does really follow the last and link in with it, however I thought it warranted it’s own post. The last post was really about making the most of now, and to enjoy what you have in a given moment, to evaluate what you’re striving for and make sure it’s actually going to add to your life.
This post is about learning that good enough, really is just that. That it’s not a negative state of mind, that although a level of perfection is attainable, sometimes it really isn’t worth the time spent to finesse things further. That once you’re happy enough with a decision/action then leave it at that. Move onto the next thing you’d like or need to do. This way you’ll both get more done and learn to enjoy what you’ve done. Imagine feeling that you’re happy with almost everything that you do. That it was a pretty good amount of effort put in, time spent and end result achieved. This applies to pretty much anything you chose to do, from relationships, to work, to doing the decorating at home.
I meet many people that struggle with the idea that good enough is just that. They feel that good enough is a settling for less than could be. They want to keep on going until the thing they’re doing is done to a suitable level of high standard. The trouble with this of course is that, that standard is seldom met. Thus leaving the person trying to attain the high standard always wishing they could be better. I suspect when someone’s output who is happy with good enough is compared to someone striving for near perfection, that actual outcome won’t be far off. As it’s a self driven perfectionism, and the actual end result when judged by an independent person won’t have seemed worth that additional time and effort.
I would ask anyone reading this to consider what would be your good enough? Are you already able to live with a level of imperfection or do you need to continually strive for almost unobtainable perfection? If it’s the later, who’s standard are you measuring against? Yours? Or all those “should” voices from your past and current life. See if you can start to accept a slightly lower threshold. You can still be proud of what you’ve done, but realise you’ve not got totally lost in making something “perfect”, rather than just enjoying doing the thing or that you’ve completed what needed to be done.
I was cutting my hedge at home, which to be fair wasn’t a terrible job to be doing, I had some music on and the sun was shining. You see, for a start I always try to do a job when the mood takes me, and the day and time seemed suited to tackling the hedge. I enjoyed shaping it and getting it back into some semblance of care and tidiness. I was well aware though, towards the end of the task, that I could probably spend at least another hour or so trimming every wayward leaf to achieve a more perfect appearance. I took a few steps back, looked at the overall result and realised it really was good enough. So packed up my gear and felt pleased with my efforts. No one else at home even noticed I’d trimmed the hedge, so if I’d slaved away for hours to get it “perfect”, what a waste that would have been. I then moved on to a rewarding cool drink and reading for the rest of the sunny day. I was rewarded by purposeful effort and then the pleasure of relaxing when the job was done. I suspect some others would be annoyed they couldn’t quite get the look right and then wouldn’t have had time to relax either.
See how you go, in everyday life, see if you too can be good enough and feel that it’s a good place to be. See how much more you can get done in the time you have, see how it feels to not be hung up on a disappointing job. Bottom line, whatever you did, you gave it a go, be pleased with that. I suspect this blog isn’t perfect, but I trust this and all the other posts get the gist of what I’m trying to convey, that to me is what counts.