Good Enough?

If there is one question I have often heard too often, it is“Is this good enough?” I heard it as a musician, as a schoolteacher, as a Tae kwon-Do practitioner and as a Tae Kwon-Do instructor. What may surprise you is that although I hear it from others, I hear it more often from myself. It can be a great “check up” phrase. The difference is the attitude behind the question.

Our children are being taught that there is something out there called “good enough” rather than teaching them that the only thing “good enough” is their best. It has gotten to the point that our students, even our parents and world leaders, have lost their ability to find out what their best really is. School grading systems offer reasons rather than report results. Outcome based education has taken away the need to succeed. Some schools have done away with valedictorians at graduation ceremonies because it may make other students feel bad about getting lower grades. Why? It’s because “good enough” rewards mediocrity and quashes the desire to be the best. Truly it’s a positive thing to develop one’s ability to deal with finding out that “your best” simply is not “good enough” to be “THE best”. I learn it daily. It certainly spurs me on to raise expectations of myself, try harder and keep trying.

I like to use the term “good enough” to qualify something at its current level. For example, is my sidekick good enough for having only done 50 of them in my lifetime. I can’t expect mine to be as good as someone’s sidekick at this point but it can be good enough for now. I don’t want my level of frustration to get too high. Yet a little frustration can be the impetus to propel me forward, making things better through diligent practice.

I try not to let “good enough” be an ending point. Rather, I try to use it as a starting point, and as a springboard to go to the next level. I also use it as a reference point to look back on, thereby allowing me to measure my improvement or lack thereof.

Good enough has its place. Just don’t use it as an excuse, an ending point or as a way of not being honest with yourself. This concept can be applied to Tae Kwon-Do, school, work, play and just about everything. As always, I wish you the best in your life and in your Tae Kwon-Do journey. Pil-Sung!


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