Close Enough: The Benefits of Imperfection

Stars and Bucks
Stars and Bucks

Perhaps the reason we see so few essays on the benefits of close enough is that those writers who understand that the wide-spread application of excellence burns entirely too many calories and occupies more than it’s fair share of active brain space have already moved on to more interesting topics -because they can.

Some things need perfection: open-heart surgery, bridgework (both dental and municipal) pouring foundations, keeping books, inspecting nuclear power plants, maintaining aircraft. Some things don’t: tossing out ideas, telling stories, breaking traditions, playing T-ball, making beds, smoothing ruffled feathers and serving pretty good American-style coffee in the Middle East.

Teachers sometimes struggle with resisting the temptation to hang one more suggestion on a student’s performance or project. Of course, everything can be improved, but sometimes close enough is good enough for now. We all need to extend ourselves enough grace to simply enjoy what we have accomplished so far. Not everything needs the albatross of potential hanging around its neck.

Sign it. Stick it on the fridge and let’s go for coffee.


12 thoughts on “Close Enough: The Benefits of Imperfection

    1. Some of the most heartfelt performances have flaws. I think that’s what makes them accessible. I know classical recording artist who deliberately leave tiny errors for that reason -so people will know it was not machine-made.


    1. Perhaps excellence needs to be meted out according to priorities? I don’t know about you, but even though I admire “perfect people” I am often more comfortable with those who not only make mistakes, but are able to laugh at themselves.


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