Good is the enemy of the best

Comfort is overrated. Yep, I said it. Sure it feels good, but is good good enough? If you look at the lives of people who have had incredible success, the road to get there was not comfortable. There were mountains to move, battles to fight and pain to be preserve through. It’s not an easy life.

However, our society promotes easy. Comfort is a must and we want instant gratification without the hard work. We are happy with good but there’s a huge divide between good and great.

Something I think that can be learned from kids is that they don’t really have “good” in their vocabulary. They dream massively huge and always want the best. I mean, when you are 10 years old, pretty much anything is possible in your mind. There’s a refreshing innocence about the way kids look at the world. Nothing is unachievable and they always strive for the best, something we seem to lose as we get older. But it seems to me, successful people keep those dreams.

It was September  25, 1976, when 4 kids from Dublin Ireland with big dreams had their very first band practice. Who would have guessed that one day, they would become one of the biggest rock bands in the world. 38 years later and still going, their new album was released to over 500 million people via iTunes, the biggest album release of all time. Yes, some people didn’t like the fact that they got the album, but you got to give U2 credit, they aren’t afraid to push the boundaries. Greatness pushes limitations. I personally think it was a brilliant idea. But the point is, you don’t get to that stage of incredible success by being just good. There’s a lot of blood sweat and tears involved to get to that level and it’s not easy to maintain. Bono says it so well, “As you get better, you get very good and very good is kind of the enemy of great. You can mistake it for great”. 

It’s so easy to become complacent and forget those dreams of greatness, of changing the world and of making a difference amidst the everyday grind of life. Becoming caught in the rut of comfort is a trap many people fall into, myself included. It’s comfortable and easy to stick with what you know, what works, with where you are right now.

But the thing is, I’d take great over fine, or good any day. Life is short and I want it to be great, a life well lived. I want to help people, I want to make a difference in other people’s people’s lives and as much as this is the king of cliches, I do want to change the world. And that doesn’t come with just good. For me, I can’t live a great life myself, it’s only through Jesus Christ where I can truly make a difference. Living for Christ is a life well lived.

Oswald Chambers also has a great quote that i’d like to share, “The great enemy of the life of faith in God is not sin, but the good which is not good enough. The good is always  the enemy of the best”. For me, that means living a radically generous life that most likely won’t be comfortable, that will be difficult, and that will be outside of my comfort zone. It means pushing myself and breaking through the limitations and being exceptional even in the little, everyday ordinary things. I don’t know where living that kind of life will lead me, but in the words of Bilbo Baggins, “I’m going on an adventure!”.

So here’s to living not good, but great lives and striving for the best!


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