Good just isn’t good enough

I was listening to an old Tony Robbins audio I found online the other day as I often do when looking for an infusion of inspiration (I highly recommend it). Tony was talking about what results a good job produces. Now when he first asked the question, “What happens when you do a good job?” I immediately thought, well, good things. He let the thought linger for his audience and then responded “you get poor results.” Well, this kind of confused me, and he figured it would confuse his audience obviously because he went on to explain. If you do a good job at work, will you get promoted? Will you maintain your job even? Often times, the answer to those questions are no, and in this economy, even more so!

So the audio goes on to talk about doing a great job results in good results, one has to do an extraordinary job to get really good results. Tony went on to say that constantly keeping this in mind and not resting on your laurels, but pushing harder and better is necessary to be the person you are able to be.

The morning after I listened to the audio I went on to run a small local 5K race as I do from time to time. I was on pretty good pace and was going to be happy with my time based on my mile times. I got about a half mile away from the finish line and was very content to meet my goal time…then Tony showed up!

So here I am running my pace, and Tony pops into my head and says, sure, that would be a good time, so you’re ok with good? Oh man, that stung! No, I’m not ok with good, so of course I picked up my pace and finished with my best personal record for a 5k. Thanks Tony!

Since that day, I am often interrupted while in the process of something I’m doing now with my own voice saying, “Is this what you aspire to be? Is this extraordinary work, effort or product? Is this my best work, I mean my absolute best work for this moment in time?”

It is hard work to keep the motivation to continually push and strive to be a better person than I was yesterday, but I must say, I love the feeling that what I leave behind is my best work – whatever it is that I’m doing. It’s funny because I didn’t think I was “sitting on any laurels” but it turns out, I can do better at everything I’ve been doing. I just need to realize I was settling for doing a good job and I never asked the question – “Is doing good, good enough?”

Are you living a good life? Is a good life giving you the results you desire? Is there more effort you could make in one area that would produce great or extraordinary results? What personal record could you shatter today?

2 thoughts on “Good just isn’t good enough

  1. I think this is an interesting perspective and somewhat different from how I think. I think almost the opposite: instead of making everything Great!, how about making it good enough? Maybe I won’t be as tired or stressed out if I settle for good enough. This is something that perfectionists (or recovering perfectionists) have to struggle with.

    Sometimes I’m tempted to ask my son to do more, try harder, but he already stresses out a lot. Putting additional pressure on him by me, or by him on himself, makes it harder for him to succeed.

    When does doing more motivate versus demotivate?


    1. That is a fantastic question Susanna. I do agree there is a fine line. This post was more about self motivation and getting the best out of oneself.
      Helping to motivate others has so many elements to it that I believe are very specific to the individual and therefore needs to be addressed with great care. It sounds like you are aware of some potential reactions from your son and are being cautious with your approach. Helping celebrate your son’s successes when they occur could be a motivating approach you might try.


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