“Good is the enemy of great” – Jim Collins
When you look around and see what is going on in the world, you realize your life is pretty good. You feel fortunate and decide that you should be thankful for what you have and you go on with your day. You’ve been taught that if things aren’t bad, they’re good, right?
While it’s true that if things aren’t bad, they’re satisfactory or at least better than bad, it’s also true that good isn’t great! Why does Jim Collins say that good is the enemy of great? When things are good we feel in control, we’re in our comfort zone and it can deter us from taking action to stretch ourselves or go after something different. Being “good” is easier than being uncomfortable or taking risks.
For example, if you’re in a situation (job, relationship, residence, etc.) that is satisfactory, or not bad, you may tend to stay even though you often think about being happier, more fulfilled, financially better off, etc. because it’s familiar. To be great you have to move away from satisfactory. Think of good as a stepping stone to greatness.
If something is good, typically it’s mediocre, average or satisfying. It’s fulfilling a need. Imagine biting into a piece of chocolate cake. The cake is satisfying, somewhat dry but has a little chocolate drizzle on it that moistens it up and there is just a hint of cocoa flavor. You enjoy that piece of cake and describe it as good. If fulfilled your desire for a treat, you’re satisfied.
Now envision biting into a fresh piece of chocolate cake that is moist and fluffy, with a delightful whipped frosting and warm chocolate sauce warming every bite. The smell of rich cocoa with a slight hint of vanilla taste as it melts on your tongue takes you to a place of chocolate euphoria. You savor every bite and are at a loss for words to describe this chocolate magnificence.
Ask yourself if your current situation is chocolate cake or chocolate euphoria. Good doesn’t equal great. Do you want a satisfactory life or a magnificent life? Challenge yourself to be better than good, good isn’t good-enough!