What is Good Enough?

I’ve been trying to find (or choose), a life purpose. It’s something I’ve attempted many times in the past, always coming to some conclusion, and then failing to commit to it in any way.

Now I understand that finding a purpose is nothing more than choosing a direction.

In other words, my purpose shouldn’t be a destination or outcome, and it shouldn’t be a limit or ceiling. It’s a direction, and nothing more. I must not expect to ever achieve my purpose, only to move towards it as often as I can.

Perfectionism: Definition and Antidote

In anything we want to have, be, or do, we have an idea for what perfect would look like. This is our “ceiling”. We also have some level that we consider good enough. This is our “floor”.

Perfectionism occurs when we equate the ceiling with the floor. “Only perfect is good enough.” [1]

Of course, no rational person truly believes in perfection. But that doesn’t prevent me from setting the ceiling at “the highest that has ever been achieved by anyone throughout history”, and then naturally setting the floor at the same level.

It’s no wonder perfectionism is so paralyzing.

Fortunately, the answer is simple. I need to choose a floor for my accomplishments. What will I consider “good enough” at any given moment?

A Good Enough Life

It’s hard for most people, embedded in a culture of “more is better”, to admit to being satisfied with “enough”. But there’s a difference between being satisfied with being “good enough”, and aiming to only be good enough.

So much of the stress in my life is caused by wondering “Am I good enough?”

“Have I been a good enough father? Husband? Son, brother, and friend? Have I been a good enough person in my dealings with others? Have I been helpful enough to those in my power to help?”

And the thing I need to realize is, that is no answer to the “good enough” question, other than the answer I choose. The stress and perfectionism goes away the instant I can say and truly believe that yes, I am.

Only when I accept that I am good enough as I am, will I be able to move forward with my purpose of doing better.

Coda: Why Share?

These are questions I’m wrestling with at the moment. I’ve decided to write about them here instead of my journal, not out of a desire for attention… if anything, I’m too isolationist by nature.

I am sharing this because all the people I most admire understand that the human journey is a shared one. We learn from each other, support each other, and no one moves forward alone.