Is doing good, good enough?
In my life I hear a lot of people mention how they are “doing good.” Statements like, “I’m making pretty good money” or “Our marriage is pretty good.” “My kids are good kids,” and I wonder is doing good really the goal?
Jim Collins wrote a book, Good to Greatwhich looks at what companies can do to excel from being a good company to a great company, but do people really want great companies? Or are companies that provide good service good enough? Recently we stopped by Chic-Fil-A and the lines were out the door, but we were able to get in and out faster than most places can during a regular lunch hour rush. In fact my last stop at a competing fast food franchise took as much time and there were only 3 other people in the store. To me this is a good experience vs a great experience. Waiting a half hour for food in a lunch hour during an average day isn’t great. Getting out of a restaurant in 10 minutes during a promotional event is. Regardless of the reasoning which experience do you prefer a good one or great one?
If in life we take jobs that allow us to “do pretty good” or live lives that are good why should we want a company to do great? In my perspective though I wouldn’t want to take my motorcycle to be worked on by a guy who is pretty good at working on engines, I want the guy who is great at it. Same with if I could choose a good hairstylist, or good clothes vs great hairstylists vs great clothes.
So is good good enough? Recently my mentor shared a perspective on working towards great things from this perspective; if a family could have a mercedes with the highest safety ratio or a pinto, or less safe vehicle which should the family strive for? The car that has good safety ratings or the car that has great safety ratings? Lets take it down again if you can get a great car seat vs a good car seat which would you prefer?
Just this week when sharing the Mental Fitness Challenge at a competitive shooting event, several people, of varying ages, mention how they are “to old to live the life they always wanted to live.” This is one of the hardest things on earth for me to hear because if everyone took that type of outlook on life when exactly should we start giving up on living a great life? At what age is it acceptable, is it ever acceptable to give up on great and settle for good? Having had three open heart surgeries by the age of 30 should I have given up on living a great life when they told my parents I wouldn’t live to be 14? Maybe in 5th grade I should have given up when I started suffering daily chest pains. Perhaps waiting until my 2nd open heart surgery at 25 would have been the right time to give up on life?
Maybe living a good life would have prevented that third open heart surgery, but instead I went after greatness in my chosen endeavors, working to become the youngest member of an elite group of people that few ever attempt to become a part of and fewer still make it. Maybe I should give up now, stop struggling and dreaming of what an even greater life could be for me and my family, simply settle for good even though great is available. Sure disability will pay me for a while though it is scheduled to be bankrupt in about 4 years and on it I could do good. Maybe I can send my wife back to work and she could take a job that pays pretty good, and provided decent benefits. What happens if I do live? What happens if You live? Will you look back on the greatness of your life? Or will you look back on the greatness of the number of things you failed to achieve or accomplish?
The average life span is now 85, yet all these 60 year old men and women I see, though they have greater opportunity to live longer, have examples of people living into their 100’s give up on achievement simply because of an age number. Giving up on greatness, leaving a legacy, for the belief that they don’t have any time left. Many young people give up on greatness because of God only knows why, lack of belief that great is available perhaps. Though when you provide a method to achieve greatness they avoid it. For those and that mentality I have the greatest of sorrows. People may look at those of us born with health challenges, who have had to live lives of physical pain and discomfort out of no choice with pity, yet they don’t do anything great with the healthy lives they themselves have.
What are you doing? Are you aiming for great? Or are you settling for good enough. Whose definition of good are you even using? Could you apply similar theories from great companies into your personal life? I would argue yes, but it isn’t my life, it is yours. Live it to the fullest. Never settle, never quit, never give up!
If you feel compelled to explore information to help live a greater life I would encourage you to explore the materials and opportunities available through LIFE.
- Little Darth Vader: Open Heart Surgery for VW Vader Kid (limelife.com)