Don’t Let the Perfect Be The Enemy of the Good
This saying is a paraphrase of a quote attributed to Voltaire, and a favorite of mine when having to make decisions. My mentor shared this with me when I was waffling on a decision I had to make. Neither option was an obvious choice, both had pros and cons, and this lack of a “perfect” solution was paralyzing me into indecisiveness.
Over-analyzing data (i.e. analysis paralysis), rehashing conversations and options, fear of making the wrong decision, and a desire to have a perfect solution can cause individuals and teams to resort to inaction instead of action. We all experience this phenomenon at some point, for some it may be a common occurrence. And while caution in making decisions is wise, unresolved inaction (no decision) is never a preferred state over decisive action (a decision on a course of action).
In a career search, applicants can find themselves in this “Perfect is the enemy of the good” scenario very easily. Two job offers in hand, neither one being a clear-cut ‘better’ option; a good job offer in hand but a decision deadline before one hears back from a ‘dream’ job; whether to leave a known job for another opportunity – having tough choices can lead to inaction. By not making decisions and reverting to inaction in the above scenarios, only poor results will be experienced. By taking control and making decisions, one increases the likelihood of a positive outcome because they can move forward/make progress once the decision has been made.
When faced with difficult decisions in life, do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Evaluate, decide, and move forward – remember, life is meant to be lived through the windshield and not through the rearview mirror.