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Michael E. Angier

By Michael Angier


When is it Great Enough?

For the past few weeks, my wife and I have been putting the finishing touches on my latest book, "101 Best Ways to Be Your Best." We've been proofing, revising, editing and even swapping out chapters.

I thought we would have the book done three weeks ago, but it wasn't until yesterday that we proclaimed it "complete." It's often a tough call—particularly when it's your "baby."

Most projects can be fiddled with, tweaked, polished and revised to the point where they never actually get done. For many people, this can be a way to keep from failing. If the book, thesis or work of art is always in progress, then no one will judge it. What looks like a desire for perfection is often simply fear of failure.

I expect there are many of you reading this who are close to finishing something dear to you, but you seem to find excuses for not bringing the project to completion. Perhaps you have a number of unfinished projects.

Remember that nothing is ever perfect. You'll always think of ways you could have made it better, sleeker, more efficient and with additional features.

But I like what my friend Mike Litman says, "You don't have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going."

Get it launched. Get it working. You can improve upon it later. Anything worthwhile is worth improving upon. All great things are in a constant state of improvement.

With the exception of a few things like brain surgery, airline maintenance and nuclear power plants, it's safe to say that something complete, but imperfect, has infinitely more value than something almost perfect but never done.

As for my new book, we could still be working on it. But that wouldn't put it in your hands or in the hands of thousands of others next month. It can't accomplish its purpose if it never gets printed. Will we find corrections and improvements we'll want to make? For sure. That's what second editions are for.

At some point you have to say, "It's great enough."

Action Point
What ideas, projects or creations are you procrastinating about? Could it be you're afraid it won't be perfect?

Almost everything can be improved upon after its debut. So don't let your desire to get it perfect keep you from getting it going.

If you haven't started, start. If you haven't finished, finish.

Our New Book. Get free shipping and handling with your advance order of 101 Best Ways to Be Your Best. And, hundreds of dollars worth of valuable bonuses here.






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Last Updated 11/28/2005