Who says when something is good enough?

You Decide When it’s Good Enough

That’s my 2016 Christmas tree. For years I had tall trees that required me to stand on a ladder to affix the tree-topper and hang the ornaments on the top branches.

But I decided this year that I no longer wished to stand on a wobbly ladder so my tree is my height. But would my friends like my tree as much? Would I like it as much?

After all, my taller trees had 300 lights and this year I’m down to one strand of 100 Led lights. As I stood there evaluating my tree I asked myself — is it good enough?

Honestly, did I think friends at my Open House last week would take one look at the tree and say, “Nope, this tree doesn’t measure up.” Of course they wouldn’t. The tree was more than good enough.

Do you find yourself questioning your judgment about the work you do? Is it never good enough? That kind of self-judgment can impede creativity and hold you back, in my view.

I once worked for a CEO who had the rule, “Let’s aim for 70%.” What he meant was that we’d never achieve perfection, and 70% was an attainable goal so let’s go for it. I’ll always remember a co-worker who used to say, “If you’re looking for perfection, you’ve come to the wrong place.”

So my wish for myself going forward is that I decide when it’s “good enough” and good enough might actually be great, if only I’d let myself enjoy the moment. My wish to you is that you decide when it’s good enough, and not anyone else. Maybe it’s time to stop aiming for perfection.

My other wish for you is —

Happy Holidays and Best of Luck in 2017!

 

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Comments

  1. Great sentiments all the way around. In a culture that loves hyperbole its easy to start to think that perfection is the norm or even achievable. A little grounding to start the year is perfect.

    • Debra — good to hear from you. I thought it would be a good idea to do a reality check after I made such a big deal about my tree.

  2. Another great post Jeannette! Beautiful tree, by the way.

    I love your message… I like to say, sometimes (most of the time), finished is better than perfect.

    Merry Christmas!

    Jeff

    • Hi Jeff — so good to see you here! I like your saying too. Just get it done. Merry Christmas to you, too, and I’m glad you like my tree.

  3. What a pretty Christmas tree. Homes look so cosy at night when the Christmas tree is sparkling in the living room.

    Often we are our own worst critic. I aim for perfection a lot of the time. As a result I become annoyed with myself and discontented. I aim for 100% as when I miss this I may then get 70/80%.

  4. I’ve always been a perfectionist, and it’s something I often struggle with. I always re-read my articles before posting it thinking ‘is it good enough?’ ‘what can I change to make it better, more perfect?’ Same goes for my sketches and generally anything I do and it can get very tiring sometimes. I do realize that I just need to let it go and be happy with whatever I’ve produced as long as I know I’ve done my best, but accepting that is still a work in progress. Thank you for sharing this post, your tree looks wonderful btw. Happy holidays! =)

    • Rosary — thanks and make a promise to yourself that in 2017 you’ll be happy with your best because it will be good enough.

  5. Jeannette, I love your Christmas tree.

    The statement “good enough might actually be great if only I’d let myself enjoy the moment.” That rather says it all, doesn’t it?

    In our quest for perfection we often forget to do that. For years I would go absolutely crazy before Christmas trying to make it the perfect one. The entire house had to be cleaned top to bottom, all the goodies had to be homemade, etc. so that by the time Christmas arrived I was worn out. Then I smartened up, did a normal housecleaning, bought many of the Christmas goodies and put the emphasis on family and enjoying. Much better.

    So I leave you with my wish for you to have the MOST ENJOYABLE HOLIDAYS AND THE VERY BEST FOR 2017.

    • Lenie — what a smart thing you did. And I’m sure your house and all the goodies are just as wonderful as before. Enjoy your holidays and best wishes for your 2017.

  6. Yep, that perfection trap is a doozy. Funny enough publishing my first book was the key to helping me push through that problem because at one point I finally realized that if I didn’t STOP rewriting the book would never help anyone! Thanks for the reminder and a year of great advice and inspiration. Happy holidays Jeannette!

    • Marquita — I can’t think of an author who doesn’t believe that just ONE more tweak will make it better. It usually doesn’t — it’s just another tweak that assuages our guilt.

  7. Must say, Jeannette loved your tree!
    Well, technically this is the first time we are celebrating Christmas together.

    Cheers to the perfect imperfections and Happy Holidays!

  8. Well said, Jeannette and I LOVE your tree. I always had real trees and never thought I’d have a fake one. But given the way our house is, it only made sense to get an artificial one several years ago. Every year as I assemble it I think: this is pathetic. Then it’s decorated with all the decorations I’ve carried with me for life and I sigh in contentment: It’s perfect.
    Even if the tree is only 70% good looking to start with. HA.

    I wish you have the most marvelous of holidays!

  9. Perfection is a nice thing to aim for, however, it can be stressful! It always good to set reasonable goals instead of aiming for perfection every time. I even still try to learn this lesson and it’s hard thing to follow sometimes! Happy Holidays to you too!

    • Janelle — yes, it’s hard to accept that we’re not perfect and that most of the time what we do is more than good enough.

  10. This is such a timely post because I was just thinking about this very subject today. It is so easy to spend tons of time making everything “perfect”. But the downside to this is that perfect is subjective and aiming for perfection can slow down your progress in general. I love how you say to aim for 70%. I think I might make that a “resolution” for the new year.

    By the way, I love your tree. It is beautiful. I don’t know what the old one looked like, but I would be happy to look at this one when walking into a home.

    • Erica — thanks for the compliment about my tree and I’m glad my post was helpful to you in making your New Year’s resolution.