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The secret of "good enough."

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posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 11:32 PM
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This is a psychological topic, so I suppose this is the forum for it.

Some years ago I learned something that has made me immensely happier in life than I would have been otherwise. I call it "the secret of good enough." It's not really a secret, but it seems to be, because people seem unaware of it.

When making choices, especially when there are many choices, its natural for humans to "reach for the best." We seek the best possible job we can get, the best clothes, the best dwelling, the best mate, and so on. Even the best brand of ketchup or tissue paper, as it turns out. But when there are many available choices, this often leads to anxiety. Even after you have made your choice, you might tend to second-guess yourself. Was this really the "right" brand of ketchup I bought? Maybe one of the others is more tasty after all. The nagging self-doubt and second-guessing can be even worse for more serious matters, like choosing a home or a city or a job.

Obviously not all choices are equal. Some choices in any situation are going to be more suitable for any given purpose than others. But the thing is this: there is often not "one correct choice." Rather there are multiple choices that are better than others, but all equally suitable. All good enough. When you realize this, decision-making becomes less about finding "the right choice" and more about finding "one of the right choices." This is the secret of good enough. It makes decision-making smoother, faster, and more satisfying, and it reduces the potential for "would have/could have/should have" regret.

Suppose you have twenty possible choices. Rather than seek "the absolute number-one best," try to isolate, say, four or five options that are clearly better or more suitable than the other fifteen or sixteen. Then, once you have done so, if there is no clear one of these four or five that calls out to you, pick any one of them, and don't look back.

In most cases, you will not sacrifice any quality. All that will happen is that your peace of mind will expand, and it will be easier to make choices and decisions. I should be clear: Its not about "settling for something less." Rather, its realizing that among the handful of best choices, there may be no clear option that will deliver more satisfaction than the others. There will clearly be some options that are worse than others, but within the "top tier" there really isn't often so much difference in the ultimate happiness you will derive. This goes for anything from choosing what restaurant to eat out at in a big city to choosing where to go to school, where to work, where to live, what strategy to adopt in business...and maybe even (heresy!) who to have a relationship with.

This is not a hard and fast rule. In some situations one choice will clearly call out to you and stand above the others, and if so, by all means select it. But if not...you can save yourself a lot of time, anxiety, and agonizing by applying the secret of good enough.

Whaddaya think?


edit on 7/31/2012 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 11:40 PM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


Makes sense to me - it can be actually hard to overcome, but empowering after. I think another thing that affects striving for the absolute best is trying to appeal to and impress others in a lot of instances. 'This person won't think as highly of me if I have this slightly less desired thing.' Hey, it's good enough for me and I'm happy with it.



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 11:51 PM
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An easier way for your ego to take it is:

Stop worrying about getting the best overall, and get the best for you. What is best for you is not going to be that appealing on a mainstream level.



posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 12:10 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


nice nice


you should keep writing and expanding on your lessons and axioms,, some day maybe you can compile a book,, i dont want to pool you into a category but books of those sort with a wise and proven self help message are quite popular,,



posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 12:56 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


I guess it depends on how you frame it.

The headline grabbed my attention, and when I read it, I immediately thought of that cliche in American society, "Well It's good enough for government work."

I am currently not too happy about government's role/track record in the US, so I kind of cringe af that adage.

But, if you are applying only to minor decisions, I suppose it's OK.

I (and I expect for others too for that matter) just want to be my very best, and not settle for less.

What is the definition of "success"? Just "good enough" only? Why not, if you're going to do, do big/better just like if you're going to dream, dream big/better?

One's psychology and personality will no doubt play a factor in their decision-making, and world-views...maybe I'm too Type-A for only good enough instead of best...Well, for now, until some more unfortunate stressors force me otherwise.

Thought-provoking OP that I'll be pondering on for a while, I'm sure...Thank you....




posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 01:31 AM
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reply to post by BurningSpearess
 


Well, I tried (and perhaps failed) to express a subtle point...its NOT about "settling for less" at all. Rather, its about realizing that within the "top tier" of possible choices, in many cases, there may not be a single "correct best choice."

Here's a concrete example. Let's say you are looking for a doorstop to hold open a normal door for a few minutes. You have about 20 objects that you can pick from, including an orange, a basketball, a sponge, and so on. Most of these will not serve the purpose, but among these 20 objects, you find 4 wedge-shaped pieces of wood that can serve as traditional, nornal doorstops. They are all the same size, shape, material, and durability, and each of them is fully capable of being a functioning doorstop. The only difference among them is that one is red, one is green, one is blue, and one is orange. Generally speaking, the colors will have zero impact on their intended purpose (holding open a door), so any one will do the job as well as any other. So, we can say that once you have eliminated the basketballs, sponges, etc., it really doesn't matter which of the four wedge-shaped pieces of wood you choose to hold open your door. All of them are equally "good enough."

That's a very obvious example of a situation where any one of the "top tier" of possible choices will do. What's less obvious is that the same principle can be applied in many other cases. You'd think it silly if somebody spent hours agonizing over which color doorstop to pick, but in fact many people spend untold time and effort agonizing over equally meaningless little differences in situations where any of the selected top choices would do.



posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 03:39 AM
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Originally posted by silent thunder
reply to post by BurningSpearess
 


Well, I tried (and perhaps failed) to express a subtle point...its NOT about "settling for less" at all. Rather, its about realizing that within the "top tier" of possible choices, in many cases, there may not be a single "correct best choice."

Here's a concrete example. Let's say you are looking for a doorstop to hold open a normal door for a few minutes. You have about 20 objects that you can pick from, including an orange, a basketball, a sponge, and so on. Most of these will not serve the purpose, but among these 20 objects, you find 4 wedge-shaped pieces of wood that can serve as traditional, nornal doorstops. They are all the same size, shape, material, and durability, and each of them is fully capable of being a functioning doorstop. The only difference among them is that one is red, one is green, one is blue, and one is orange. Generally speaking, the colors will have zero impact on their intended purpose (holding open a door), so any one will do the job as well as any other. So, we can say that once you have eliminated the basketballs, sponges, etc., it really doesn't matter which of the four wedge-shaped pieces of wood you choose to hold open your door. All of them are equally "good enough."

That's a very obvious example of a situation where any one of the "top tier" of possible choices will do. What's less obvious is that the same principle can be applied in many other cases. You'd think it silly if somebody spent hours agonizing over which color doorstop to pick, but in fact many people spend untold time and effort agonizing over equally meaningless little differences in situations where any of the selected top choices would do.


did you come up with this theory after losing your mind having you and your wife decorate your home or something?



posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 04:35 AM
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did you come up with this theory after losing your mind having you and your wife decorate your home or something?


No, actually - that event was the origin of my "retreat to the man-cave with a sixpack and answer "yes dear" to everything; it will all be over soon enough" theory. But that's another thread.



posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 06:57 AM
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Jesus Jones had another way of saying this, back in the 90's:



Great and timely message OP - thanks for this reminder!



posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 07:44 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


I also had a similar realization and I have felt a lot better in my life after I did. I was mainly seeking to reduce my stress level to an absolute minimum. In doing so I looked at everything that I stress over and try and come up with a way that I can manage that stress instead of it manage me. The main thing I realized was that I really don't need anything material to live or be happy. Anything I have is only a luxury so I should treat it as such. Be happy I have it, but when I don't I don't worry about it.

For instance, someone at work stole/broke and threw away my coffee cup that was in the break-room for the second time. I do not know what happened to it but if I find out who did it I will
... (I joke) But seriously, great way to look at things. If more people would do this we would all live happier lives and realize that money and the newest iPad should not be the most important things in our lives.




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