September 6, 2020

Should I be ok with good enough? The answer is "Yes"

Nothing that you do feels right, nothing that you do feels complete and nothing that you do feels perfect. Everything ends up being just good enough. But that's ok.

Should I be ok with good enough? The answer is "Yes"
It takes 10 years to become a master but 1 year to become better than people around.

That's the one thing that I experienced during the first year of strength training. I didn't have any goal in mind, I just wanted to exercise daily to stay fit as I was working in an office, sitting all day. In a matter of few months of training, and with the help of a healthier and more protein-rich diet I gained a seemingly bigger build and I noticed that people noticed it. Whatever I did I always tried to be a perfectionist.

Perfectionism is insecurities with lipstick on. - Gary Vaynerchuk

And there lied the problem with being a perfectionist. The work that you've accomplished is good enough that people will notice it but not good enough that you'll be satisfied. But here's a thing, you'll never be satisfied with your work because you'll always treat your present level of progress as default. So, even if you started earning $100k up from $65k a year ago, that dopamine rush of $100k won't stay for long. Similarly, even if you end up gaining 15lbs of muscles in the first year of working out, you'll treat yourself the same as you were before gaining 15lbs. Good enough is just not enough for you, or maybe your insecurity about yourself, because you compare yourself to the masters of the field who have spent years or decades on their craft, is not letting you cherish your progress which you always get impressed from with if someone else does.

Pareto Principle

Also known as the 80-20 rule states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. If you think about your life, work, hobbies, or even relationships, y0u might realize that 80% of the result is produced by 20% of the effort that you put in. I'm a software developer and I've clearly seen this trend over the few years of professional experience. You, might ask what about the rest 20% or result? Well, the rest 20% of the result takes 80% of the effort. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out those 20% causes. And this isn't one size fits all rule because maybe sometimes you need that last 20% of the result.

Let me explain. Google is the search giant. The core product of this company is to return the search result with billions of options in less than a second. There are hundreds of engineers, architects working on it day and night to improve, optimize, and better the resulting quality. That's the last 20% of results requiring 80% whereas if you look at the companies other products like youtube, Google drive and explore their user interfaces, you might be able to find minor user-interface issues which might be on the list to resolve but doesn't really need 80% of the effort for 20% of the results. And it is ok to be good enough there.

Get rid of the insecurities and put out your work

Stop hiding your painting, your own song, or your own app from the eyes of the public. Let them be the judge. The worst-case scenario is that no one likes it but the best-case scenario is that you end up being successful. There is so much to learn from the failures and criticisms. Sometimes things we create are just dumpster fire that you might need to start from scratch but most of the time you learn about the mistakes that you can improve upon or you might end up discovering your niche.


So, stop being insecure about your good enough work and put out your work. Being able to come to an agreement with being "good enough" is extremely liberating.

Upwards arrows

Leverage Pareto Principle

Now, if you've understood that getting rid of your insecurities and being ok with "good enough" is liberating and take a lot of pressure off of you, why don't you start leveraging Pareto's principle? If 20% of the effort will give you 80% of the result then why don't you use the rest 80% of the effort two achieve 80% result in four other aspects of life? Crazy? I know. Think about it, that initial 20% is easier and make the chunk of your result, so how about taking multiple gigs, or trying different business ideas, or maybe trying to become good at playing guitar so that you can play live while also have a high return day job as a software engineer, or maybe you want to continue with just one job while putting 20% effort and investing rest in your family. The possibilities are endless.

Only you know what's best for you so find your balance or maybe you really have a tendency and discipline to become a master go ahead with your path and put in 100% of your effort in one thing. But the majority of us can have dramatically happier and more successful lives if we can stop pretending to be a perfectionist and start being ok with good enough.

That's it for this blog post and if you feel that you've something to add to this or you have a different perspective then share it and discuss it on r/StoicHuman or go to the Reddit discussion post for this blog post linked down below.

Stay healthy, Stay safe.

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[Discussion Post] Should I be ok with good enough? The answer is "Yes" from r/StoicHuman