When is ‘good enough’ enough and when is the time for the best?

Imagine you were to make yourself a sandwich for dinner today.

Are you going to make one that gives you enough sustenance for the day, one that will be delicious, or one that will be so damn good that it will make your day?

These are three different experiences — one good enough, one awesome, and one you’d rave about.

We don’t think about life in terms of experiences often. A concert is an experience, but a commute to work or a snack, those are just that. Through the lens of design, however, we can look at the experiences of every day and make them better, maybe even ones worth raving about.

The default option for many mundane experiences in life is ‘good enough’. Saying good enough has its name — satisficing — and its function — making us not worry about the things that don’t matter.

But what matters? Even a tiny detail can matter. A smile from the barista can make change your mood for the better.

There is such a thing as too much good enough. It might be because that mindset has a way of trickling into a life of the unsuspecting person, like me.

When I moved into a different room in the house, I cleaned massively. I reorganized everything, vacuumed, brushed off the dust everywhere. I wanted to make my room perfect. I wanted it to be my room. In other words, I wanted the best experience possible.

A few weeks later, there’s some dust on the bookshelf. The shoes aren’t in an orderly line. The clothes aren’t neatly sorted… I do some housekeeping every day and vacuum every other day. It’s a nice room. I might say it’s awesome, but it’s not awesome, and it’s not a room I’d rave about. Over time, I settled for good enough.

Perhaps it shouldn’t be like that.

How much better would it feel to have my best super awesome room ever™? Would it impact my day? Absolutely. A look upon that room would inspire me and bring me joy and pride. What difference could it make in my mood and in my work every single day?

That’s one example of the how good enough might not be enough. With that in mind, I try to make changes to my room regularly to continue to improve it. It makes me feel good because I’m getting to closer to the awesome experience I want.

We are all the designers of our lives. Often we have the power to choose if any given experience is going to be:

  • good enough

  • awesome

  • or the best in the world

We all have finite amount of energy and time, but there are things that are worth being as close to perfect as possible. Too many compromises regarding food, home, or work and the overall quality of life goes down substantially, not just a bit.

This line of thought brings about a question: what experiences are worth being the best?

Is it a sandwich? Is it a room? A vacation?

What is it for you?

All articles