Every year The Albany Herald runs a Readers' Choice contest in which their readers are able to elect the best businesses in the area. I was thrilled that this year they added the category of Web Design. (For me!? Oh, you shouldn't have.) This would be a nice recognition to receive, and I don't mind asking you to cast your vote for DanielTitus.com. The contest itself is pretty simple.
I believe it was Voltaire who said, "The best is the enemy of the good." In his original poem, the target in view was that of perfectionism. Perfection is not only impossible to obtain but also becomes very costly trying to achieve. Nevertheless, many creative people become so pleasantly enamored with their work that they begin to view it as perfect ... as the best. Here our Voltairian phrase takes on new meaning. The realization of perfection is impossible to obtain, but assigning the label of perfection to a work cripples appropriate improvement. So, how do you strive for the good without being derailed by the best? Here are three safeguards to consider.
When my wife and I were first married I wasn't exactly sure how to be a good host. One might be tempted to think that the more you can offer your guest the more likely they will be satisfied. This is a concept I tried out, and it often reached a comical end. When people would come over I would offer them a drink, listing the various options we had in the refrigerator. Water was often the drink of choice, perhaps because it seemed like the safest option. This was not so in my house. "Carbonated or non-carbonated," I would ask. "Flavored or unflavored," I would continue. "From the jug, filter or tap," I would go on. "Ice or no ice," I would push. "... Crushed or cubed?" By this point the response was almost always the same. "Just GIVE ME the water!" You see, too many options can impair good decision making.