Good Enough: The Mantra of Unsuccessful People

I wake up, get out of bed, drink my coffee, then it’s time to browse the web for a while.

Today is one of those days when I don’t feel like doing anything.

Later on, after a few hours of aimlessly wandering on social media, I sit down to write a new blog post. It’s inspired by a quote. I write a couple hundred words, don’t even bother to read them over.

It’s good enough!

I click on the publish button, and that’s it.

Maybe I’ll reply to comments, maybe I won’t.

Who knows?

It’s good enough that I even wrote something and published it.

How often have you used these two words? Good enough?

And how often was good enough actually good enough? To get the results you wanted, to earn that raise, to get in shape?

In today’s world, good enough is almost as bad as nothing at all.

Good enough is the enemy of the great.

For a long time, good enough was my mantra.

I knew I was good enough to earn enough to pay the bills and rent on time… most of the times, that is.

I knew I was good enough to do a decent job that would get me through highschool, so I did just that.

Most of my life, I was good enough… until good enough wasn’t enough.

Until I felt like doing less work, in less time, with less effort. In time, it all became a sort of obsession with finding the path of least resistance.

That path, I am afraid, leads nowhere. It is a path towards unhappiness, depression, and anxiety. It is a path paved with frustrations and anger and bitterness.

After all, whenever I looked around, all I saw where others who were far more successful that I was.

Why?

I honestly couldn’t see it.

After all, I was good enough.

You should replace good enough with this one word.

There are a lot of folks who feel are being paid less than what they deserve by their employer.

But there’s the catch: they always do good enough work, and they always get paid the minimum amount so that they don’t quit.

Good enough is the gateway to a lifetime of misery.

Here’s another example: people fall out of love when both partners start to think in terms of “good enough.”

Don’t believe me?

Then why is it so difficult to do things that you used to do with a smile on your face?

Because you used to do more.

You used to do more than they asked of you.

Your significant other, or your boss at work.

You used to write more, to edit more, to go to the extra mile each and every single day.

That is, until you decided that was good enough.

People don’t fail in life because of some catastrophic events, or because they’ve been punched in the face by fate so many times they can’t get back up again.

People fail in life because they think where they’re at is good enough. They don’t want to do more, or become more, or earn more, or learn more.

Be honest. How many people have you encountered that couldn’t wait to get out of college, so that they’d never have to go to school again, implying that learning is something they’d never, ever do.

Maybe you were one of them too.

How many people want to find someone they kind of like, get married, have kids, and never have to go out on dates ever again, or face rejection, or have to keep in shape to attract others?

Good enough is truly the enemy of success.

I know this because I used to be a good enough kind of guy. And it wasn’t until I decided to do more, always more, that my life truly started to change for the better.

No more “good enough.”

The answer is to always do more.

Can’t find a job?

Become more.

Not earning as much as you’d like?

Work more.

Not finding your soulmate?

Do more, become more, learn more.

Don’t settle for good enough, because soon good enough won’t be enough.


This is especially important right now, with all this madness in the world because of the coronavirus and the economic downturn.

Now is not the time to do good enough work, and then go back go Netflix and chill your day away on the couch. Now is the time to do more, always more, to aspire for more, to venture into the center of your fears and tell yourself that you won’t stop until you become better than you were yesterday.

Because you can’t control the economy, you can’t control this pandemic, you can’t control what the world says, or thinks, or does. But you can control how much work you put into, how much effort, time, and energy.

22 thoughts on “Good Enough: The Mantra of Unsuccessful People

  1. Well stated. I have had this overwhelming feeling of just being “Good Enough” for months. This is so not me, I usually was the one who strived for better as well as pushing myself. Now, I feel like a slug.
    I enjoyed reading this because, in some strange way, it gave me a boost to try harder once again.
    Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love it! And, now’s the time more than ever to do more great work that resonates with your own bent of what great work is. Risky now to set out into it? Sure, though I’ll contribute two notions to the, “is that an acceptable risk” category:
    1. “A ship in harbor’s safe, though that’s not ships are for.” ~ John A. Shedd
    2. Google, Amazon, and Apple were all started during a downturn. See how those great moves WAY more than good enough turned out.

    I full-on dig your allegedly aimless way of building into and through the story, to trailblazer a saWEET path. There’s that cairn to the trail of “good enough.” Nope, keep going. They’ll be a better one up ahead after more. There always is.

    Liked by 2 people

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