Good Enough

I would be lying if I didn’t say that the past five months have been a struggle for me. In many ways this blog has been a reflection of those challenges. I’m not sure how noticeable it has been for others, but one thing I’ve struggled with, and struggled to write about is the actual work I’m supposed to be doing here. I have a great family life where I learn something new every day, and I’m having a lot of fun sharing that with people. Work has been a different story.
My commute is almost a passage between worlds. The freedom of the road turns quickly transitions to the stagnation of my seat behind my computer at my desk. I’ve had a lot of trouble getting out of this mode. Things move pretty slow here in general, but by the end of a day I often feel stuck. Some days I know I’m not bringing what it takes to move things along in a district and I wonder if maybe this isn’t the place for me. And most days that all melts away again with those fifteen kilometers of asphalt and wind in my hair that lead back to Seripe.
One of the reasons I’ve struggled is insisting on perfection before I start implementing. It has been easy for me think of ways things will fail, why they aren’t perfect and to delay pushing forward based on that. I’m learning that I won’t be able to get very far if I keep up that strategy. Instead of perfection I need to do a better job of recognizing ‘good enough’, at least for the first implementation of an idea. There are a lot of roadblocks in development, and I need to admit that I’ll never be smart enough to think my way through them.
The same goes for my blog. Thank you all so much for the extremely positive feedback you’ve given me on my first few posts – I really enjoy writing and putting something together that makes people think. That said, I’ve found myself looking for ways to one-up myself. I want every post to be the new ‘best’ post. Unfortunately this isn’t exactly a sustainable solution, nor does it work well for anyone reading – I’m certainly writing less and posting even less than that!
At the end of the day I still want to create excellent work. I don’t want the pendulum to swing too far to the side of poorly thought out ideas that I’m rushing to implement for quantitative numbers of prototypes created, or pieces posted on this blog. I see enough of that here to know it isn’t the way forward either.
I hope this post is a start along that path – it certainly isn’t my best post, but as I read it over I think it qualifies as ‘good enough’, something I’m happy with. I’m not sure I’m 100% satisfied with the ending, but that’s ok. I’ve been applying that lens to all of my work over the past week or so and my motivation has been going up, I’m feeling busier, more productive, and happier to be at work. And based on that, expect to see a lot more ‘good enough’ from me in the future.
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2 Responses to Good Enough

  1. Leah says:

    I can't tell you how many times I have struggled with accepting the "good enough" in my project management work terms … very little of how you plan things ever ends up happening anyways, and it can be frustrating. I was able to see an added perspective to development work from this post, so thanks!!

  2. Olivia says:

    I've definitely struggled with this as a Social Change Fellow at national office as well, but it was tied to not appreciating the "just doing it" as a chance to learn and grow. But you've always seemed to love learning, Ben. Can you use that characteristic to drive you to put more "good enough" ideas out there so that you can learn more and faster?

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