Are you Good Enough

Warning for all Bollywood lovers.

This Post is not about Priety Zinta’s Husband…Mr. Good Enough.

This post is about something that we tell ourselves more often — “Good Enough”

It is one of the busy days. Clock in the office corridor stuck nine times. I am still sitting in the office. The noise associated with the busy traffic in the highway next to my cabin window has subdued heavily. The glowing lights made it difficult to see the stars in the sky. The unusually quiet setting in the office helped me notice a rhythm in the printer spitting out the report. When the printing stopped, a deafening silence followed.

I went the printer to pick up the report. The noise made from my shoe gave an eerie feeling. I picked up a cup of green tea from the pantry. Settled down in my chair with the report and started the review. “Good Enough”, I told myself after reviewing the report. I arranged the reports for distribution but left it in the table, closed the cabin and left for the day.

“Good Enough” kept repeating in my head. My memories went few years into my life.

I have spent most of my life achieving “Good Enough” Success. While in College, I have played every game that was available. I played Football, Cricket, Tennis, Table Tennis, Shuttle Badminton. The amount of practice that I generally put in each of these game is enough to say that “I am Good Enough”.

Wait. I was not a Champion in any of these games. I was good enough to play matches. Whenever I played in the tournaments -I was Good enough to win the first two rounds.

I was extremely happy about this achievement. I told myself “Hey What Big deal. I am not a winner in the tournament in any of these games. But among those who played all these games, I am Good Enough to reach at least 2nd round”.

I have spent most part of my life with this philosophy “Good Enough”.

I never tried to look beyond “Good Enough” because in my opinion “Good Enough is Good Enough to have a Good Enough life”.

Mr. PV Challenged this perception.

PV was part of senior management in one of the organisation that I worked.

PV insisted on putting forth one’s best always. There is no respite.

I worked with PV in a particular project. I produced the “Good Enough” results. He gave it a glance and said “Good Enough is not enough for me. I need something great”. He continued with aggression “I expect the best. The best as what I define not as what you decipher as best possible in a given situation. Start fresh”

It took me time to understand his philosophy. It took me time to understand that between “Good Enough” and“Great” lies the difference between “Complacent” and “Consistently Competitive”.

“Good Enough” is the feeling that emanates out of Complacency. If we have to achieve something great in whatever we do, replace complacency with Competitiveness. We realise our Potential and enhance it only through persistence.

Life does not expect us to be just Good Enough. Life wants us to move from “Good Enough” to “Great”.

It is our duty to live a great life. Living a life good enough is living a selfish life. Living a life of greatness is the best service we can offer to the society. . When I say great life or greater life, it has no direct connection with money or success. “Greatness” lies in the thought process and the way we can do small things that matter in life and inspire people around us.The greatness in essence starts in doing the small jobs with great concentration. Small jobs with greater focus. Small jobs with the idea of benefits it will give to people around in our mind not just the idea of what we get out of it.

I remember this old man in the photo below in Madurai Meenakshi Temple. He stands in the temple swaying this beautiful handmade fan helping people to get the much-needed air. He has done it for years and continue doing it even now. I have seen this man from my childhood. He does it with so much happiness in his face, with so much enthusiasm that penetrates people who crosses him. He does it with same amount of enthusiasm right from the morning till evening. The exuberance that I encountered in him as a child is effectively exhibited even today with exhilaration by this gentleman.

This is the philosophy given to me by not only Mr. PV but all the bosses I worked under in my first organisation. Director Finance would tell us “You are here to do your best, always”. Doing what is best for the situation and the people around you will lead us towards a great life.

I have few FB friends who in my opinion lead such greater life. Mr. Shankar Rajaratnam is one such kind soul who shares his thoughts on the problems faced by every person in their daily lives. The Hall mark of his post is the clarity. He is in a way leading that great life by providing clarity to handle complex situations in life.

A Champion Speaker, A Radio Jockey, A quiz master and my friend Mr. Jiju Verghese says the following about speaking on stage — “Your responsibility as a speaker is to remain positive and instill positiveness in the audience. You don’t know what is happening in the lives of the people listening to you. When you stay positive in your thoughts and words, you may end up saving someone’s live, may inspire someone to take some action that change his/her life but also changes the lives of the people around him/her for better. Your responsibility towards the audience is hence inspiring them to lead great lives”.

If one has to consider the life as the greatest stage, we need to put our best always to inspire people around us. We need to produce the “Great” results always and not to resign ourselves to “Good Enough”.

Greatness lies in the way we strive consistently to reach one notch above what we have achieved earlier. In this process we will end up inspiring people to aspire for greatness in their life.

“Good Enough”-my mind reminded me about the report. I should review the report tomorrow to see how this good enough can become great. I hit the bed and slept.

Complacency is the trait of Good Enough whereas competitiveness is the hall-mark of Great. Whenever I was complacent I have achieved Good Enough Performance but when I pushed myself towards being competitive and forced to consistently conquer the complacency, I have reached what I would call Great Performance.

The difference between Good Enough and Great will be felt in the after effect as well. A Good Enough performance will make one happy for that moment and give justification for the rest of the time that it is “good enough”. However, Great Performance will align us with the Universe. Elated Happiness permeates our mind completely. Suddenly we feel that everyone around is smiling at us, giving us three Cheers. Ultimately, this feeling will also wear off and the thought that we could improve and do better will take over. Competitiveness leads us to the great performance and the drive to outperform it in the next time.

I agree that it is not possible to produce great performance every time. Nonetheless, we should strive for great performance and not settle down for good enough.

Great Tamil Poet Thirivalluvar said in the following phrase :

உள்ளுவ தெல்லாம் உயர்வுள்ளல் மற்றது
தள்ளினுந் தள்ளாமை நீர்த்து

which in english translates as follows :

  • Keep your thoughts always higher and try to meet them. Even though they couldn’t be achieved do not lose hope.

As the idea of “Great” over “Good Enough” persists, “Great” will eventually prevail over “Good Enough”