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Why “Good Enough” May be Better for Well-being

Have you ever run into a situation where you had so many options you couldn’t make a decision?

You wanted a little bit of everything and just couldn’t decide.

You could see the value in each choice or option, and because of this even after making a decision, you had buyer’s remorse and wished you would’ve chosen differently.

Sometimes having numerous options leaves us stuck in our desire to make sure we choose the best and perfect choice.

Unfortunately, perfection is rarely an option, and if we are set on having the best it can truly leave a bitter taste in our mouth as we review the decision.

Does this sound familiar to you? Do you always have to have the best, be the best, and convey the best?

Wanting the best isn’t necessarily always negative, as it allows us to strive to be the best we can be and to reach our potential when it comes to wealth, health, and success, but it can also distract us from the joy and blessings all around us.

If this rings a bell, you may tend to fall into the category of what’s called a maximizer.

The maximizer is consistently confronted with making the best possible choice or optimum decision.

Frankly, this can lead to actually achieving better results, but it also leads to distress and discomfort in the process and the long-run.

The maximizer may be more of a perfectionist and have excessively high expectations about what they “should” have and how they “should” be.

Thus they may regret the decisions they make and potentially be more prone to depression, remorse, and disappointment when their decision doesn’t add up to their ideals.

Though a maximizer may achieve better outcomes, when it comes to satisfaction with life it may be best to just be satisfied.

If you are able to be satisfied with “good enough” you take the perspective of a satisficer.

The satisficer is able to accept good enough, and is content when things that cross this “good enough” threshold. Someone who is less picky and finicky about a decision and can more often just go with the flow.

The satisficer is able to find more happiness in the different domains of life. They will be more appreciative for what they have and will more likely notice the positive aspects of things as opposed to all the imperfections.

Being satisfied with good enough doesn’t mean that we never strive for more. It actually allows us room for growth and development while still being content in the moment.

We live in a time where there are countless options and unlimited possible decisions to make. It can be easy to get caught up in the excess and start comparing our circumstances to others, or forgetting to be grateful for what we do have.

It is about progress, not perfection. We can make strides to improve our life while not letting life pass us by in the process.

Where in your life are you overly critical of yourself? How can you begin to make progress in this area instead of focusing on perfection?


Schwartz, B., Ward, A., Monterosso, J., Lyubomirsky, S., White, K., & Lehman, D. R. (2002). Maximizing Versus Satisficing: Happiness Is a Matter of Choice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83 (5), 1178-1197.

Why “Good Enough” May be Better for Well-being

Joe Wilner

Joe Wilner is a life coach, licensed clinical psychotherapist (LCP), and drummer from the band Yes You Are. He is also creator of You Have a Calling, a blog and online community helping people discover and pursue their life’s work and mission. Through deep and personalized coaching, he helps ambitious, creative, and spiritually minded individuals make a greater impact, grow as leaders, and design a soulful life they are inspired by.

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APA Reference
Wilner, J. (2012). Why “Good Enough” May be Better for Well-being. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 6, 2020, from


Last updated: 26 Feb 2012
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