I recently stayed back late at work to help prepare for a conference that was to be held the next day. There wasn’t much to do; 100 or so chairs to put out, a podium for the speakers and a table for refreshments. Unfortunately this very easy task quickly turned into an hour of tense negotiation because everyone has a different idea of how the room should be arranged.
We are taught to strive for our best. In the case of the conference set-up, we were so driven by the need to find the very best possible solution that we lost sight of everything else. It was a problem that we competed to solve, to “win”, at the expense of common sense and an early dinner.
When I eventually arrived home, late and tired, I wondered what we had achieved. Striving for the best solution to a given problem is only necessary when the problem needs the best possible solution. In the case of the conference room, good enough was good enough. It wasn’t an important problem.
This got me thinking about my own life, and when I’ve devoted too much time to a personal project, or been too harsh on myself. My dinner could have been healthier. I could have run further. I could have practised harder. But what is more important it letting go, and realising that often, good enough really is good enough.