Jim Collins famously said, “Good is the enemy of great” in his book Good to Great and I’ve taken that saying to heart for over a decade of trying to go from good to great in our dental business. It’s a fine sentiment and it effectively describes how those special few entrepreneurs were able to surpass all others by not settling for “good”. It worked for them and I’m happy to see others have massive success but over the years I’ve come to realize that the converse is also true.

Great is the enemy of good!

During this wonderful time of year I’ve been especially grateful for how good I have it. I mean life is really, really good and has been for quite some time. I have a great wife, awesome kids, friends here locally and all over the world and I get to make people smile for a living while helping other orthodontists do the same to the best of their ability. This has held true for the twelve and a half years I’ve practiced – things have generally been extremely good. There were a handful of times that things didn’t go well for a relatively short period, of course, (and like everyone I tend to focus on my “bad beats”) but it has become obvious to me that those bad times were almost always the times I let the quest for great make me forget how good I had it. I’d lose focus or perspective on “the good” and things would get out of hand quickly until I refocused on what I love to do… what I’m good at!

No more.

I’m going to make a conscious effort to enjoy good. I’m going to soak up every single second of the good life I have and recommit myself to focusing ONLY on what is important, on doing ONLY what I enjoy and on surrounding myself with ONLY people I love. Life is too darn short to do otherwise.

In one of my favorite movies, Parenthood, Steve Martin’s character bitterly states, “My whole life is have to” and I know many of us feel that way most of the time at work, at home and with friends. But doesn’t have to be that way. I have the power to control my life and my destiny by controlling my attitude and so do you! Start today by realizing how good you have it and telling those who are important to you just how much you appreciate them. Live in the moment and enjoy the journey more than you anticipate the destination.

And if you don’t believe have it good, well, you have two choices. (Both take time and effort so choose carefully!):

  • You can change your mind.
  • You can change your reality.

4 thoughts on “Great Is the Enemy of Good

  1. always a good read.
    thanks ben
    -david majeroni

  2. Well said Ben. It also makes an excellent opportunity for a New Year’s Resolution!

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