There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do well. We all want the proverbial ‘A’. But some of us struggle to know when to stop. That elusive ’point of diminishing returns’ can be hard to spot and many of us don’t see the line until we’ve crossed it. We’re generally better served by compromising on the unrealistic goal of perfection and instead, allowing ourselves to spread our efforts around to other, more useful tasks.
I have four young kids and place a lot of value in being a good dad. However, if I wanted to be a ‘perfect’ dad, I’d need to do a whole lot more. I’d need to spend every waking moment with them. I’d need to create fun crafts and cook wholesome, homemade meals. I’d stay up each night writing sweet songs to them. I could do all of this… but I’d be an awful husband, friend, and therapist. I’d have to quit my job. I couldn’t have any hobbies or get any exercise. Even though being a good dad is really important to me, I have to compromise. There are other things that are also important to me. And let’s be honest, I’m a better dad because I nourish these other parts of my life. We cannot give 100% to any one facet of our lives; that’s not how this works! We have 100% to give and we have to choose how to spread it around. If we truly want to optimize how we spend our time, we can prioritize by spending it in ways that are consistent with our values… all of them!