Many of us have grown up with the philosophy, and in a culture, that says whatever we are doing, whatever we are making, could be better. Some of it may well stem from (TQM) Total Quality Management which can be traced back to early 1920s. That is when statistical theory was first applied to product quality control. Much of that was based on continuous feedback.
This concept was further developed in Japan in the 40s led by Americans, such as W. Edwards Deming, Joseph M Juran and Armand V. Feigenbaum. Those principles were applied mostly in the world of business and manufacturing and many of the practices leaked into other areas of management as well such as education, health care and government. There have definitely been improvements in those areas but few people are satisfied with the results because they are just not good enough, at least not yet. Question is will they ever be good enough? That follows the maxim that there is always room for improvement. There may always be a gap between the ideal and the real.
On the home front, many parents encourage their children to work harder in order to do better whether in school or in a job. The idea is to get promoted and reach a higher level of achievement. That is supposed to bring greater rewards and satisfaction although many are now questioning some of the assumptions and techniques and finding ways to work smarter, not just harder. The old saying “If you can build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door” has become a mantra for a world of design and innovation.
So when is good enough good enough? When can you let it go, put it away and be satisfied that whatever you have done was a result of your best effort and it has either met or exceeded your realistic expectations? At the end of the day, what’s done is done. It’s finished and you cannot go back and do it over and do it differently. You can learn from the experience, and you do not need to live under a cloud that it was not good enough. If you believe truly it is good enough, then it is, regardless what someone else says or believes. You need the confidence and trust in yourself first, others will follow. This piece is good enough for me, at least for now. I’m going to lunch. I’ll set my old mousetrap later.