Good Enough Started with Mom

by Marianne Richmond on June 17, 2005

Seth Godin posed the question "Is anything as good as it could be?" And then went on to say that the hypercompetitive marketplace is going in two directions: Not good enough, hyper cheap volume things and beyond good enough, what he calls RPB, the relentless pursuit of better.

        He bases this on what he calls his 2 big ideas:

  1. Humans tend to work on a problem until they get a good enough solution, instead of a solution that’s right.
  2. The marketplace often rewards solutions that are cheaper and good enough instead of investing in the solution that promises to lead in the right answer.

As I read this post, the "good enough" terminology triggered the recall of the term "good enough" in a different context…parenting. Winnicott, Bowlby, Bettelheim and others talk about "good enough parenting"  essentially saying that babies will form "good enough" attachments if the care they receive from mom is "good enough"…she just needs to come when they cry, feed them when they are hungry; not necessary to fullfill their every need, just meet their needs and they will thrive.

So….is it any wonder that there is so much truth in Seth Godin’s 2 big ideas. Humans are programmed to settle for good enough. It starts with Mom. Moms need to be more than good enough….we need to relentlessly pursue better. Babies should require more than good enough. Our kids need to demand more of us.  I know my adolescent son would agree.

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