Sometimes “good enough” really is good enough. This is a lesson that law students often struggle with. Having always strived for (and often attained) perfection, it’s difficult for law students to retrain the brain to accept that “good enough” is very often quite acceptable.
I’ve talked before about how I am taking classes toward a Certified Financial Planner certificate. This weekend I had a very full agenda. And I had a quiz I needed to take. Through the magic of online education, I have three attempts to complete and submit my quizzes. On the first attempt I struggled and earned a 7 out of 10. I thought about retaking it, but I was pressed for time. I decided to wait and see what Sunday brought to decide if I would retake. When I got to Sunday evening, I decided to take my 7 points and move on with life. Reality is that the three points I lost will likely not affect my grade. I’ll probably get a B in the class no matter how hard I try. And that is good enough.
The bar exam is often the first testing hurdle you will face where the goal is not to get the best grade in the batch. The goal is to pass. Whether you have the highest passing score or the lowest passing score does not matter. At the end of it all, if you have any passing score you become a lawyer. If you waste your energy focusing on perfection, you are actually less likely to pass. This is a case where good enough really is good enough.
It’s unlikely that you’ll ever be perfect with your finances. You will someday pay a bill a few days late (or miss a month altogether when you have misplaced the mail). You may experience a month when you are unable to pay your credit card in full. You might buy a stock that tanks. You may discover that your bank has been charging you fees you could have avoided. There is always room for mistakes and room for improvement. But the reality is that this is another area where good enough is good enough. You may have temporary setbacks. But if you continue striving to do all the right things, it will likely be good enough.
Perfection is difficult to attain and attempting to do so can wreck your mental health. It’s ok to ease up on yourself. Because in so many cases good enough is good enough.