Two words are the hallmark of mediocrity and laziness. They are…
This is the worst attitude to have in your work and indeed, your life. Settling for “good enough” is such a low standard. It means that you simply don’t care enough to be extraordinary. And the reality is, achieving any level of real success requires just that—extraordinary desires, efforts, and persistence.
This complacent attitude keeps us from doing our best work. It keeps us from making the money we want to make and from having the type of life we want. “Good enough” leads to divorce, poverty, and a legacy that reaches no further than the grave.
You want to know a funny, kind of counter-intuitive way to spot a professional? His craft kicks his ass sometimes. He wants to rip his hair out in frustration because he just can’t put all the pieces together yet. He cares that much about his work.
The “good enough” type of person would never sweat it. He’d shrug, recite his mantra—“it’s good enough”—and blithely carry on with the next uninspired task. And life repays him in kind—with good enough pay, good enough recognition, good enough opportunities.
Don’t be that person.
It’s okay to be discontent with circumstances and strive for things uncomfortably larger. It’s okay to always want more. Don’t try to avoid dissatisfaction—use it to spur you on to greater things, because that’s where true satisfaction is.
I’m talking about the attainment of BIG goals. The production of BIG effects. Why settle for anything less?
Don’t swing completely to the other end of this spectrum, though: The perfectionist that is never satisfied with anything, that can be pleased by nothing and no one, and that has a rapacious, insatiable drive. That’s no way to live, either.
There’s a balance that you have to strike. Any movement in the right direction should be celebrated, even if it’s just for a moment. Those little steps, when reinforced, can turn into leaping strides. The greatest geniuses in history had incredibly “unattainable” goals but, ironically, they were also incredibly patient.
While working on the lightbulb, Edison famously wrote, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”
Don’t let minor failures convince you to abandon your dreams and replace them with vague, colorless visions that are “good enough.” Always push back. Always figure out how to do it better. Never compromise with what you know you can accomplish.
You are important—maybe more than you know—and you can make a difference in the world. Take it upon yourself to become extraordinary. The world needs you.
As Paul Hawken said in his moving commencement address, “You are brilliant, and the earth is hiring.” Are you up for the job?