Something worth doing

I long lived under the mantra if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. And that thus expanded out to mean if you don’t do it well, you wasted your time, energy and resources, it was a bad decision and you should feel bad about it.

That’s wholly incorrect. For so many bloody reasons. But fundamentally because it suggests it’s only worth doing if it’s done well. The things that are most worth doing are the things that are worth doing badly. The things you’d regret not doing. The things where a failed try is better than no try at all. Where a clumsy, inarticulate, muddling effort is more noble; more admirable; more true than silence. Where a half-step forward is still progress. Where a fudged attempt still provides something valuable.

When you fail to execute out of fear it will go badly, it sends the message that it wasn’t worth doing badly. Which translates to not being worth very much at all. Is that true? Or are you short-changing it?

Now, of course there is something to be said for the endeavour of excellence. But maybe it is more helpful to suggest that if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing wholeheartedly. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth committing to, regardless of the outcome. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing even when time, energy and resources are limited. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing, rather than ruminating over the perfect course of action.

Done is better than good, as they say.

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