“Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien.”–Voltaire’s Dictionnaire Philosophique (1764)
Literally translated as “The best is the enemy of good.”
I have read many interpretations of what this saying means. Many of which make sense (not striving for unattainable perfection or being content with what is good in our life–great thoughts). The way I interpret it is a bit different, but it is food for thought as I am contemplating my new year.
So often in life we are doing good things. Wonderful things! Fun things. Important things. But in being distracted by the good, we miss out on what are really the BEST things. The enemy of what is best for us in our life or schedule is often something really good. That is what makes juggling our life and day so difficult. We know what is really bad for us, those things are usually pretty obvious, but can we discern between the good and the best? Do I need to say no to some of the good stuff in order to have time for the best?
Edited to add: I am thinking, for one example, BEST would be to spend time with my husband in the evening. There are lots of GOOD things I do all day that often make me too tired, distracted or busy in the evening to spend time with him. This is where I think I could grow in the year 2008. Not filling up my days with so many GOOD things (friends, work that I love, cleaning, volunteering, creating, blogging) that I miss out on the BEST things. Not perfection, but things I treasure the most. There are good things in life and best things in life. The best ones for me are often neglected in a sea of good things.
Images via Architectural Digest from the book: Private Views: Inside the World’s Greatest Homes