Voltaire said," the perfect is the enemy of the good."

This is commonly employed when admonishing someone to stop insisting on perfection and accept something which is good enough.

It is a warning against perfectionism of the variety which inhibits progress. If I cannot move on from a step in a process unless it is perfect, and Perfection is unattainable, then I am stuck forever on that step and cannot move forward.

But is this true?

Let's turn the phrase on its head. Can it be interpreted to mean that not accepting something which is "good enough" could lead us toward Perfection? Meaning that good results that end our Quest will always have us stopping short of Perfection or even better, Near-Perfection.

What I am suggesting here is to substitute the idea of Perfection , an unattainable thing, with the idea of Excellence. To stop chasing perfection and strive for Excellence instead.

What is your relationship to Excellence?

Excellence goes far beyond Good Enough. But yet of necessity it stops short of Perfection. There is a principle which states that to accomplish 80% of a job takes about 20% of the total time and energy. But to finish the job and complete the last 20% of it will take 80% of the total time and energy.

This would tempt us to settle for Good Enough most of the time. But I believe that leaves us thirsty for Excellence. If we do not allow life to insist that we must live it in the black and white, then we do not have to always pursue Excellence in every deed. And we are free to choose what is important to us and what is less important.

I will suggest that we pursue Excellence in the things we care about most. And for those which we care little, Good Enough should do just fine. Make sure that something in your life warrants the pursuit of Excellence.

You get to choose.