Close Enough

“Lots of people put in serious work for a while in pursuit of their goals,” Ben Bergeron said, “and eventually get to a place where they’re comfortable. They may not have achieved all their long-term goals, but they have achieved a good 90 percent, and they feel that they’ve checked all the boxes and are doing well enough to be satisfied.”

The people Ben Bergeron speaks of work hard. They get up and get after it day in and day out. 

The problem comes when they start seeing results. Just as growth is the number one killer of small business, results are the number one reason folks quit on their goals. 

They get “close enough” to their achievement and settle because the last little bit comes at the greatest cost. The first 80 to 90 percent is easy to work. Keep showing up and putting in the work and you’ll get most of the way there. 

It’s that last 15 to 20 percent that requires grit and perseverance. The ability to stick with it and keep putting in the work when results have slowed and it doesn’t feel like you’re taking ground.

True excellence is hanging in there and grinding through that last couple percentage points towards your goal. It is an unsatisfaction with anything less than your absolute best. 

You’re about to walk into a new week. It would be easy to settle this week and not push for that last little bit of growth. 

But you’re not interested in easy. That’s not why you’re here. You want excellence and are willing to stay the course, even when that voice in your ear whispers that you’ve come far enough. 

Monthly Mash Up (August 2017)

Every day is a chance for you to grow, get better and improve. All it takes is a willing attitude and the willingness to work hard and stretch yourself. 

I surveyed some great resources in August in my attempts to do just that. I’d like to share a few of them with you here. Below is a quote I’m thinking on, four books I’ve read or am reading, and five articles or services I found helpful.

Each taught me some incredibly valuable lessons. Lessons that made me think, re-evaluate points of view, and better that I would be otherwise. Hopefully they do the same for you.

Quote I'm Chewing On

People tend to focus disproportionately on results, while neglecting the day-to-day things that will get them there.
— Ben Bergeron, Chasing Excellence

Big lofty goals are nice, but more is required to make them a reality. To do that takes daily work. Work that isn’t pretty and that’s not always fun. But work that must get done if you’re going to get there. 

What I'm Reading

  1. Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa - This is an epic tale of Japan’s most famous warrior. Jocko will be reviewing it on episode 100, and I’m rushing to finish this near thousand page tale in the next few weeks.  

  2. Chasing Excellence by Ben Bergeron - Perhaps one of the most encouraging and inspiring books I’ve read in awhile. Every page is littered with highlighted sentence after highlighted sentence that I read and reread day after day.

  3. Romans 8-16 For You by Tim Keller - I read the first of Keller’s books on Romans earlier this summer and this one was just as good. Few resources on Romans have balanced deep theological truth with easy going style as well as Keller’s. If you want to have a deeper understanding of the theology of the New Testament, get this resource.

  4. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount And His Confrontation with the World by D.A Carson - Our community group is reading through the Gospel of Matthew the next several months. Which means I’m on the hunt for awesome resources to help me wring all the Biblical truth and wisdom from it. My mentor mentioned D.A. Carson’s work on the Sermon on the Mount and I can’t wait to dig in.

From the Internet

  1. Marketing about power and with power via Seth Godin - It’s no secret that Seth’s is one of my favorite blogs. I read his stuff every day, and is a large part of why this blog has gone daily in recent months. In this post, Seth discusses the wide ranging difference between two marketing approaches. Which one do you use? Which one best fits your business?

  2. Why I love my paper dictionary via Austin Kleon - I appreciate Austin’s approach to art and its creation. He offers us a glimpse of the blend between digital and analog. The two really can coexist. This post is a perfect example of how.

  3. Both Lincoln and the Confederacy Were Awful via FEE - It seems we’re in the middle of rehashing the Civil War anew of late. While reasoned discussion is never a bad thing, that’s not we’ve been in the middle of these last several weeks. This article is a quick look at what few are willing say: both sides were in the wrong.  

  4. MoviePass - Monthly movie subscription service that allows you to see unlimited movies for $10 per month. Hannah and I will definitely be checking this out!

  5. Texas Price Gouger Are Heros via FEE - This might be one of the most important articles I’ve read in the last week. It offers an excellent explanation of exactly why price gouging isn’t such a bad thing after all.