Being Good Enough – Work, Finance, Family.


The concept of “good-enough” is essential if you are prone to worry, or if your inability to be perfect prevents you from trying to improve! Anxious people get an emotional charge from worry. It’s a tough habit to break! Some of my examples have included: -Being a good enough father. -Having a healthy enough approach to nutrition and exercise. -Having a focused enough approach to main vocation (parenting, teaching, coaching, business, athletics).

As a Dad, my kids are overwhelming at times (less now as they are getting older). I was forced to let go of the unreasonable expectations I initially set for myself. What enabled me to shift was considering my family’s needs… Do my children say they love me? What does my wife say about my marriage? My motto became “Aim for perfection, but settle for greatness.”

In my work and financial life, it’s easy to endlessly tinker – seeking to optimize a situation where constant change is proven to make things worse, rather than better. My best outcome is to create a simple solution, that’s good-enough, and limit my ability to mess things up over the long term. “Do no harm” is an especially useful reminder when considering the long term ramifications of my actions.

I suggest that you don’t take specific advice from me. Find what works for you. However, I share the specifics of what I do because the simplicity of my approach is a useful counterbalance to the complexity that’s sold to us at an increasing rate.

In terms of finances, act as if the goal of the financial services industry is to separate you from your money and to run from any advisor that’s not bound by an ethical duty to act in your best interest. Short rule to live by is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Next, focus on these three themes that truly matter: -Save: Live on less than you earn. -Dollar-Cost Averaging: Create a strategy that runs on autopilot and get on with living. -Be Able To Hold Through Dips: Never extend yourself, live debt free, and be able to hold through unexpected unemployment.

One of the benefits that I have learned about participating in triathlons over the past 20 years is the ability to be very good at something by combining good-enough performances in each of its components (swim, bike, run) without any glaring weaknesses. This seems to be holding true for the other important areas of my life. It might do the same for you. As always, To Your Success!

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