Monday, February 15, 2016

Don't Let Perfect be the Enemy of Good

I first heard this phrase several years ago at a marriage conference that was being held at the church I was attending at the time. I believe the speaker at that time was Beth Moore. This portion of the event was primarily aimed at the ladies, but it held truth for everyone. She talked about her husband, about the problems they had had and the victories they had seen. She made a statement that he wasn't perfect, but he was a good man. I remember her saying "Ladies, don't let perfect be the enemy of good".

Now, I will be honest this phrase is one of those that could be used to help us accomplish incredible things, but it could also be used to make us feel better about not stretching ourselves. We must always strive for better. 

Like so many things in our lives, I hadn't thought about that statement in a very long time. We have so much that draws our attention and demands our focus. Today I was lucky enough to spend some time in the garden doing some prep work. I was putting down some cardboard and mulch in the garden spot as a weed barrier and to help retain moisture. I was lucky enough to be able to get a windfall of topsoil, mulch, and compost at a stupid cheap price. (I would have been stupid not to take it.)

I was looking around and wishing that the garden was better, that I had more room, that I had more time, and energy..... well you get the idea. That is when this phrase came back to my thoughts. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. The garden has gotten better every year. Last year we had the best production so far, but for me it still wasn't good enough. We still have problems. There have been a few times that I honestly thought about just not having a garden at all. Yup, I am admitting it. There are times it would be easy to say, "Until I have more time I am just going to wait." or, "I just don't have the energy", I could even say "I will get started when we have a more suitable homestead". But if I said or did any of those things I would be giving you and myself a disservice.

I realized as I was thinking about these things that I am not the only one that feels this way. For most of us there is never enough time, money, and energy. I do mean NEVER. In fact this phrase was quoted by Voltaire so it is at least older than when he was around.

Why We Wait

I believe that all of us were created to do something in this life. Some of us are innately  endowed with the ability to be great teachers, some are encouragers, others are entrepreneurs, and the list goes on and on. I am fully convinced that everyone excels at something and no one excels at everything. The people that look like they excel at everything have just chosen to not participate in the things they stink at, and I really believe it is that simple. So, if we all excel at something, why do we wait about getting out there and following our passion?

Fear of Failure

I believe this is the biggest obstacle that we all face. Many of us fear getting out there and trying something, only to fall on our face. We don't want to have to deal with the struggle, pain, and possible humiliation of not being successful at something. Many of us have tried something massive and failed. Some of us lost everything. But you know what? The sun will still come up in the morning. When this happens, we just have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and head out in a new direction. It stinks. It hurts. But it doesn't have to kill you.

Every time I have failed there have been lessons that were available to learn. Some times I learned them and some times I didn't. That doesn't mean that they weren't there. Even if the lessons are hidden, look for them.

Fear of Success

I know this one sounds strange, but it does exist. Fear of success is actually fairly common. There are many books and articles about dealing with this fear. Very few people, however will admit that this is an issue. There are always other things to blame, but the truth is success can be a little scary. Once you have achieve what people call success there is always the drive to go higher and do better. Think about it, how many of the Hollywood stars are on drugs? How many musicians that you would call successful die of overdose or commit suicide? There are much worse things in life than being on a list of "one hit wonders".


This one hits a lot of us. We honestly feel that we can't do anything because we have commitments that must be kept. There are bills to pay and we have to feed our families. These are all very important, but let's be honest, there are always ways to pursue our dreams while not neglecting to take care of our commitments. You can always start small and build, it doesn't matter if we are talking about a garden or a business, it can be done.
You might find this post helpful.

Some Things are Worth Doing Even if You Can't Do It Right

I know there are people who are almost screaming at the screen or speaker. There are so many people who will say anything worth doing is worth doing right, and to some extent I agree with that. I have found that there are a lot of people who will use this statement as an excuse for not doing something. This is not good. There are times that we just have to do things, even if we aren't certain how it is going to work out.

I remember a preacher a long time ago that was talking about Christian service. What we should be doing for our faith. I will never forget what he said." If you don't know what to do, just do something. If you're not doing what you are supposed to be, you will find out and you will gain experience that there was no other way to attain.".

This year my motto is going to be:

Don't Let Perfect be the Enemy of Good.
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