WHEN IS GOOD ENOUGH NOT ENOUGH?
You probably agree that goals are key to life, but why do we settle with good enough?
When I published my first book, I got a lot of congratulations and comments about how they would like to write a book. Research says 80% of Americans want to publish a book. There are roughly 200 million people in the U.S. So, 160 million people would like to write a book. Only 45,000 ever finish and publish a book. That’s 2.8% of the U.S. population.
What if I had stopped with the first draft that I just wrote for myself. What if I had said that was good enough? Would that have led to more success or publications?
I was a Bible teacher long before I was an English teacher, and I’d like to use an example. Most people with some Sunday School attendance know that God promised Abraham the Promised Land. But did you know that Abraham’s father, Terah, originally set out for the Promised Land? But he stopped short and settled in Herran. “Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Herran, they settled there” (Genesis 11:31, NIV).
Terah stopped 600 miles short of his goal. Yes, it would have taken months to finish the journey. He was only about halfway when he stopped. What was the goal? A land flowing with milk and honey. But for Terah, the land of Herran was good enough. There were a lot of reasons for Terah to stop, just as we have many reasons to stop going for our goals – fatigue, burnout, disillusionment.
Also, good enough isn’t necessarily a bad place. Perhaps Herran was a beautiful country full of vineyards, orchards, and gardens; the city walls provided security; money flowed since it was on a key trade route. Herran wasn’t the Land of Canaan, but it was good enough. Terah’s family was taken care of. He was taken care of. It was good enough.
But it wasn’t good enough. Terah left the goal for his descendants to accomplish. We can live in a good place but know that the current situation isn’t enough. Most of us have big goals – excelling at work, excelling as parents, excelling with health/wellness, excelling in faith. When we get started on our goals, we’re fired up; nothing will stop us. Then things get difficult. We get tired, burned out, disillusioned.
We settle for good enough. It’s not what we really wanted, but it’s good enough. We’re not really reaching our professional goals, but it’s good enough. We’re too tired to deal with the children, but we’re doing a pretty good job; it’s good enough. We lose a little bit of weight or cut back on pops or snacks; we don’t get to where we want, but it’s good enough. We don’t pray, read our Bibles, or go do church, but we believe in Jesus and that He loves us, so it’s good enough.
There is a big difference between those who accomplish goals and those who don’t. The people who see their dreams come true are determined, have grit to do what needs to be done, and refuse to settle. Terah set up and lived in good enough. Achievers refuse to stop moving forward when they reach good enough. They may have delays; they may get tired; they may get burned out; they may become disillusioned; they may have setbacks at work; they may have problems with their children; they may break their healthy living or get lazy; they may have moments of doubt or lacking faith. But they keep going.
How do they keep going? They stay focused on their goals. They set a course toward those goals. They refuse to settle. Good enough isn’t enough.
Do you need to refocus? Do you need to review the course toward your goals? Do you need to load up your determination and grit and move out of the land of good enough? Live your life in a way to reach your full potential. Others count on you to reach your goals. The world needs you to reach those goals. God is counting on you to fulfill your purpose.
Have a great summer and start crushing those goals.
Too often we are beat down by how others see us, and perhaps even more strongly and damaging is how we see ourselves. When we see ourselves as God sees us, a whole new image is formed, an image that can only be created through Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit.
These short reflections will help you see yourself for who you are in Christ.
You are blessed, chosen, holy and blameless, adopted, loved, given grace, redeemed, forgiven, lavished on, knowledgeable, predestined, included in Christ, marked with a seal, called to hope, powerful, valued, alive, raised up, God’s handiwork, brought near, a fellow citizen, a member of God’s household, and a dwelling.
You can learn more about the author at www.seanslagle.com