Is being good the enemy of greatness? Or is being good for long enough the secret to becoming great?
I know Jim Collins writes a ton about how being good enough is the enemy of greatness.
To put it simply, he believes that if you are content with being good, you will never become great.
I agree, being content with current results is not a motivating way to continuously improve.
If you’re good enough, why bother with the hassle of putting more energy into it?
But I prefer to be satisfied with my current results, yet hungry to improve them. In other words, patient with my results, and impatient with my inputs.
Another great writer, Steph Smith wrote an article about how becoming great is actually being continuously good for a long period of time. And the momentum will carry you to your desired results.
To dive even deeper, she mentions how we all can only see one step in front of you and one step behind you. So along our journey of becoming great, it feels like we are only good. This is because we improve little bit by little bit and it does not seem like we are improving at a fast enough rate to become great.
I think there is some truth to both of these perspectives.
Being content with current results will make you less likely to improve in the future, but also you must first become good before you can become great, and continuously improving to just be a little bit good-er each day is a sure path towards greatness.
If anything, I agree with Steph more, because consistency is the backbone of any results and worthwhile accomplishments.
This means consistency is the main focus I shape my activities around. For this year, I’ve been using James Clear’s laws of habits to write consistently and to form other great habits in my life.
To bring my thoughts full circle, being good for a long period of time is a sure path to greatness, and being good can be the enemy of greatness if you are content with your current results.