I’ve been writing a lot of posts about self improvement. It’s been on my mind, and I honestly think it is something we should all be striving for. It’s important to constantly be shaping yourself into something better, because like it or not, you’re going to change either way, you might as well be going in the right direction.
But with all the talk of self improvement I think I need to counter it, because perfectionism is the enemy of good. If you’re aiming for perfect most the time you will fail, you should be aiming for better instead, or depending on where you started, a lot better. You can’t be great at everything, sometimes you simply have to be okay with being good at something.
So let’s talk about settling. We’ve been taught that settling is bad, and in some situations it really is. You shouldn’t settle on a spouse. You shouldn’t settle when you know your work warrants more. But there is a different kind of settling that no one talks about, a healthy kind that keeps you sane.
I’m talking about knowing when things are good enough and taking them.
If you’re looking for perfection you’ll never settle for good enough. If you never settle for good enough you’re never going to be able to reach your maximum potential. It’s not about always getting to “good enough” and stopping. It’s about knowing which things really matter and which ones just need to be better. That party your throwing doesn’t have to be flawless, people will be happy with a party that is simply good and fun, especially if you’re also working on your phd and don’t have time for everything. Your house can be clean enough. Your car can be maintained to the point it won’t break down without being perfectly detailed on the inside.
Sometimes we have to settle when it comes to the non-urgent. and it’s alright to do so. Life is hard and it’s not possible to give everything your absolute best. That’s okay, maybe at some point you’ll be able to come back and finish it all the way, maybe not. It doesn’t really matter either way, because you’re not leaving things broken and terrible, you’re leaving them at good enough, and by it’s very definition it is good.
So take a deep breath and let go of a little control. You’ll be better because of it.