Don’t Let “Perfect” be the Enemy of the Good

The famous French philosopher Voltaire is credited with the following premise (loosely translated): “The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good.” I first remember hearing it during a management training seminar; the speaker was demonstrating the point that spending too much time creating perfect products can kill a team’s productivity, damaging the manager’s, and perhaps the business’ performance.

I’ve found that this concept can be applied in many dimensions, including my personal life. This blog, for instance:

I often fail to update my blog because I haven’t found the perfect idea … or I have an idea, but I don’t think I have enough to say about it … or whatever it is I want to say doesn’t sound very entertaining, witty, or relevant.

I think … “No one would want to read that, or about that.”

How pretentious of me! No one reads my blog anyway!

So the idea gets put into the disorganized filing cabinet in my mind, left to tackle another day. Eventually, that less than perfect idea disintegrates, like a yellowed, worn, neglected piece of paper.

I should just write! If I am really worried about perfection, then I should write more! You know what they say about practice, it makes perfect. Well, I will probably never get to “Perfect”, but I won’t let that stop me …

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