One of my resolutions for 2010 was to stop saying, “good enough”.
In a previous lifetime, I was a frustrated perfectionist; and, in an attempt to bring a modicum of balance to my obsessive approach to life, I had begun saying “good enough”. However, for me, this wasn’t the anecdote to perfectionism; instead, it became a harbinger of laziness. I realized that whenever I settled for “good enough”, I was shirking off work that I knew should be done in order to make it “good”. If something is good – it is good, not perfect. It is good, sufficient, and satisfying. That is, the appropriate amount of effort, energy, and time have been spent to get the job done. And, this is the standard of excellence. Although there is no such thing as perfect, there is excellent.
I don’t want some one to look at a pot that I have made and say ‘good enough’. Good pots require work. There are layers of details in the process of making a pot; and, if I pay attention to those details along the way rather than passing over them because ‘it is good enough’, then I will have made a well-thrown pot. Details such as smoothing bottoms, wiping rims, burnishing trim lines, etc. take effort, energy, and time.
I think I was successful with the 2010 resolution because it has become more habitual to consider whether I am working to a standard of excellence, laziness, or perfectionism; and, then I try to adjust.
Excellence is a high standard and it is easy to skimp. But, I am called to live excellently: And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him (Colossians 3:17). I want to have the peace of knowing that I am living in a way that pleases the Lord in whatever I am doing – pottery, friendships, work, or service. And, for me, this can’t be achieved by neurotically chasing perfection or settling for ‘good enough’.