Men Don't Listen and Wayne L. Misner 2023©    


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Don’t Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good©

(By Wayne L. Misner,

“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” (cribbed from Voltaire). One exercise class at the gym is better than the 5 mile run that I don’t do. The imperfect book I had published is better than the perfect book that never leaves my laptop. The coffee at Dunkin Donuts is much better than the romantic dinner that will never happen.

 “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” is what we are guilty of doing most of the time. Wanting everything to be perfect and like most people not having enough time to make it perfect we do nothing. How sad, when life presents opportunities to have fun, enjoy someone, achieve something, make a difference, enhance relationships, but not being able to make it perfect (whatever that is in our minds) we elect not to do anything at all.

Why do we try to be perfect? Maybe one clue is our self esteem is low. Being a perfectionist usually comes from a fear of being not good enough, or a fear of the disapproval of others. I say maybe the old axiom fits, "We have met the enemy... and he is us" cribbed from The Pogo Papers, could be the answer.

We become our own worst enemy. Instead of doing something, we do nothing because it is not perfect in our eyes, or maybe what we think in the eyes of others.

Walt Whitman said, “Happiness, knowledge, not in another place but this place, not for another hour but this hour.” Small imperfect events, episodes, and whatever’s are sometimes what become the greatest memories that are hidden in the pages of our mind. Joy comes to us in moments- ordinary moments. We risk, no guarantee, not having those moments when not doing something until it will be perfect! The price you may pay when too busy chasing down the extraordinary, is never having the moment.   



You cannot change everything in your environment, but you can choose how you respond to it. Little things do mean a lot.  Life will never be perfect, no matter how hard you try.  Even if you pour your heart and soul into it, you will never make it perfect. When people say, “It’s the little things in life that mean the most”, they’re not saying it was the perfect things that mean the most. “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”.

If you don’t like something, change it.  If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. I have found that even the most imperfect things will always be made better with love and laughter. Sharing my happiness with others sometimes can change the mood of the day by touching someone’s heart with a smile.

Our life is too short. We must break the rules and bend the laws, steal a kiss, laugh uncontrollably, skinny dip, and never, ever regret the things that make us smile.

That great person (anonymous) once wrote-I cannot predict the future-I cannot change the past-I have just the present moment-

I must treat it as my last.