Done is better than perfect. The enemy of good is better. These are phrases that have echoed throughout my training and particularly in the past year of my personal life. Credited in various iterations to multiple sources, I openly note that these two phrases are not my original words and, I’d wager based on their prevalence, not my unique experience.
Attention to detail, a penchant for excellence, the desire to be flawless are admirable in their own right but they can be stifling and, in some cases paralyzing. It is one thing to get caught in a loop of endless editing and quite another to never develop the film in the first place. What happens when perfect stops us from starting?
How many ideas never make it out of our mental space? Never grace a page, even if crumpled and in the bin? Though muffled by the “just one more tweak for better” mentality, good work has the potential to be amplified to the world, but ideas never uttered, jotted or drafted are void of that possibility – the futile multiple of zero is ever naught.
In medicine, and in political arenas, a misstep can be fatal, though the casualties are arguably less severe in the latter. Ideally, we know the answer before we ask the question and are simply using the query for confirmation. Sometimes, however, we must simply recognize that we can’t know what we don’t know, expand our investigation, release the anchor of perfection and chart a new course.
The practice of medicine is aptly named to represent the need for trial and, hopefully minimal, error and acknowledges a degree of unpredictability inherent to managing human physiology. While there is much that is known and proficiency to be achieved, education is a to be continued process with a degree of wonder inherent to the profession.
For all the importance in planning, preparing and postulating, there comes a point where we must simply begin. Being willing to move forward, take a