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Thursday, September 07, 2006

good enough

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly. —G.K. CHESTERTON

I love this quote, in part because it helped me to better deal with my tendencies of perfectionism and procrastination. Okay, procrastination not as much (I'm still too much like Scarlett O'Hara in that regard), but definitely perfectionism. And I think the two are related. In fact, they're probably cousins. At any rate, for some reason I grew up believing that if you didn't do everything as perfectly as you possibly could, then you were better off not doing it at all. Silly of course, but hard to shake. I gradually learned that trying to do things perfectly was just going to slow me down and paralyse me in the process (hence procrastination), but it wasn't until I read the above quote a number of years ago that the absurdity of my way of doing things really sunk in.

Now it could be that Chesterton meant something completely different, but I've always liked to interpret his quote as saying that the enjoyment of a task is more important than the results per se, and that it doesn't necessarily have to be done well for it to be of value. In my case it meant that I didn't always have to strive for perfection. So, I adopted the "good enough" rule. As long as I could proclaim the results of what I'd done as good enough, then that was sufficient. This may seem simple, but boy, what a difference it made! It even helped with this post when I felt a bit stuck thinking that after #100 I should come up with something, well, not crappy. Snort. But then I remembered my rule, relaxed, and figured that maybe talking about the rule itself might be a good way to continue.

There, I feel better. And more prepared for the next one hundred posts. :)

p.s. haven't been able to keep up lately with some of my favourite blogs, but please know it's not because I don't enjoy your writing!

3 Comments:

Blogger wallray said...

I think too that if you do somthing once the next time you do it it will be that much better. There is no such thing as perfection its mearly a figment of one's imagination.

September 08, 2006 10:27 AM

 
Blogger Kitty Cats Corner said...

Good heavens you sound like me!!

September 12, 2006 3:50 AM

 
Blogger Girl About Town said...

Habitual perfectionist and procrastinator: that's me! You are not alone!!!

Love the quote, btw! I need to pin it up somewhere, lol!!!

September 18, 2006 6:41 AM

 

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