“Striving to better, oft we mar what’s well.” Say what? This was written by Shakespeare around 1606 in his play, King Lear. It might sound funny, but there’s a lot of really great truth there. Now for me, I prefer the version attributed to Voltaire in 1770, “The best is the enemy of the good.” I find that a little easier to make sense of, but whichever phrase you prefer, the concept is the same.
When it comes to doing something worthwhile, we often times focus on all the preparation it takes to get there. We get consumed with the long road ahead of us before we can actually make something happen. The never ending todo list. The dotted i’s and crossed t’s. Don’t get me wrong, preparation is SO IMPORTANT (that’s a different article for a different day), but when we focus too much on the side of preparation, we often get stuck. We never allow ourselves to create something good, because we are too focused on creating something that is the best.
Yes, you absolutely want to put out something good into the world. You don’t want to go off half-cocked putting stuff out there just for the sake of putting it out there when it really isn’t ready. However, you must balance that with a certain sense of completion. You have to know when to call your project complete. Otherwise, it will be a never ending trail of revisions and an indefinite strive for perfection that will never be achieved.
Don’t let the desire to create something that’s perfect deprive everyone around you from something good in the meantime. When you have something good, get it out into the world. There will always be time to build on your thing and make it better in the future.
Do you have a list of unfinished projects or ideas you’ve never brought to life? Tomorrow is a new day. Start over. Start with version 1.0, and worry about version 2.0 later.
The best is the enemy of the good. Put your good out there.