No matter what’s sitting in front of you today, go for it. Truly invest thought and effort into it no matter how menial. There’s no pass for “well enough.” When we settle for less, we train ourselves that “good enough” is an acceptable standard.
In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman describes two systems of thought:
- System 1 – fast, decisive, intuitive
- System 2 – analytical, thoughtful, deliberate thought
Over time, the System 2 thoughts and actions become so routine that you can act almost without any thought. Take driving for example. When you first drove a car, every thought was about driving: hand placement on the wheel, accelerating, braking, looking for all potential dangers on the road, and generally a ball of nerves while driving. Now, you probably drive without thought and may even slip a text in here and there. The act of driving moved from System 2 to System 1.
When we deliberately settle for “just enough,” it reprograms and lowers our “standard.” Whether drafting an email or writing a note of appreciation, make it glorious. Deliberately creating a high standard, in turn programs higher standards into everything we do. We are, after all, extraordinary creatures, and every activity that we put or minds to should be…extraordinary.