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There is a valuable reminder/lesson in raking pine needles: Sometimes good is good enough.

As a Myers-Briggs “J” with perfectionist tendencies, I got feedback early in my career that I needed to loosen up on the perfection and know when something was good enough.

It’s hard for me to put things out that I feel aren’t perfect, but I’ve learned that there is a point when aiming for perfection really just delays the impact the work can have. And you’re your own worst critic.

Of course, there are situations where perfection IS necessary. If someone could die, perfection is necessary.

Last weekend I had the *opportunity* to rake pine needles for the first time, having just moved to the mountains. Six hours after starting, I had 15 bags full, a half a yard still in piles because I ran out of bags, and aching shoulders.

And every time I turned around, I saw pine needles I missed. It was FAR from perfect. I was ok with that.

Sometimes good is good enough | 110 West Group | Cynthia Farrell

I mentioned to my husband that raking is one of the only yard chores I don’t mind. He asked why. I pondered that for a moment and said “I think because it will never be perfect, so I just have to do good enough and let perfect go.”


The point of raking pine needles is to reduce the highly flammable material close to your home, in case of a forest fire. But you can never get them all. And you can never fire mitigate to 100%.

Sometimes good is good enough.

On our leadership journeys, recognizing this threshold, for us and our teams can be one of the tipping points between performance and performance+burnout.

What can you be good enough at today?

These pine needles will be bagged this weekend. Here’s hoping we don’t have a windstorm between now and then.


If you’re struggling with moving from perfection to “good enough,” or other leadership journey challenges, contact me and let’s talk about how I can support you 1:1 as your coach and advisor.

Cover Photo by Lana Campher on Unsplash | Photo by Matthew Ball on Unsplash

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