Perfect Is the Enemy of Good, or the Nirvana Fallacy

Welcome back! Well, I’m kind of saying welcome back for us- for you I say thanks for hanging in there! I know it’s been quite awhile since we last wrote (Jane posted our official welcome back last week, but I want to chime in as well and say THANK YOU to you guys for once again reading!). I’m really happy to be writing here again! It’s serendipitous that I’m in Orlando right now while writing this, because the last post I wrote for OMGIm30, back in January, was also written in Orlando- and was actually about Orlando.

One of the reasons I took a break from writing was that my work travel schedule had gotten completely insane (my busiest travel time is January-May). Another reason was that I felt like I wanted to revamp the site and fix a bunch of issues with wordpress. One of the issues we’ve been having is that people who view our site on mobile devices have trouble subscribing to our email list, so if any awesome tech nerds are reading this and have ideas how to solve this through wordpress, please drop us a line at omgim30@gmail.com. It would be really appreciated!

Anyway, there’s a lot of other tweaks to the site I’d like to make- but the real writing issue wasn’t the tweaks or the travel- it was that I was waiting and waiting for all complex things in my life to be done and fixed before I started writing again. I was really waiting for perfection before I could resume. And that’s where I started thinking “the perfect is the enemy of the good.”

..Which is a famous phrase, basically coming down to not completing a task because it feels impossible to complete perfectly. An example of ‘perfect being the enemy of good’ is not publishing a blogpost because I felt like it could be edited another 3 times and was not sure it was absolutely perfect. Another example is putting off writing any posts for months because I didn’t feel like my life or schedule was perfect.

This whole concept is closely related to the Nirvana Fallacy, where tasks aren’t even STARTED because they’re regarded as ‘imperfect’. A good example of the Nirvana Fallacy¬† is someone saying to me, ‘why bother being a vegetarian if you’re not fully vegan? If you still eat eggs and dairy, you harm animals anyway. Why not just eat meat too and screw it?” Or even someone saying “sex ed classes don’t work because kids are still going to have unsafe sex.” Sigh. That’s the Nirvana Complex in action- where you shoot something down that REDUCES harm because it doesn’t COMPLETELY eradicate harm.

How much does the pursuit of perfection overshadow the pursuit of good in your own life? When have you found yourself trapped in the Nirvana Complex as an excuse to not do something you think is important?¬†Here’s to us all going for it anyway! And welcoming in new beginnings!

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Imperfect rainbow in Orlando. Still a good rainbow, even though it’s above a McDonalds.

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The Beauty of An Orlando Parking Lot Run

Even though two nights ago I literally got zero hours of sleep, I decided to go for a run tonight. “I’m in Orlando,” I thought, “I can finally run outside.” Since I’d had to wake up at 4:30am for the flight to Orlando, I figured I might as well get a little ‘Orlando time’ in. After all, I’d been working inside an Orlando convention hall for 11 hour days, two days in a row. The outside world had to be better than that.

But it wasn’t. The second I was outside, I ran into what amounted to a giant parking lot lined with stores and hotels. There wasn’t really anywhere to run that didn’t put me onto a highway or into the sides of parked cars.

So I decided to move in a circle. “That’s Orlando for you,” I thought, picking up my pace. My first racing loop was around 8 minutes, and I wanted to run for at least 30. So I began a second loop. I found a side road that was maybe almost a sidewalk which ended eventually but added depth to my loop.

It was dark outside but still warm and a light misty rain began to fall. It felt really good to be outside. I ran past dim windows with people playing pool, a Hooters with staff hovering by the cash register, a Disney Gift shop, a ‘supermarket’ that mainly sold soda and beer. I ran past our cheap Comfort Inn pool- which had a waterslide that was built into a fake rock. “This is really the Orlando experience,” I thought. And I laughed, and I ran. And a light, sticky happiness filled me up inside.

I felt happy to be in the heat, in the misty rain, listening to my Spotify Discover Weekly, running by the side of the road, past a Denny’s and a Cici’s pizza. I felt happy to breeze by the window of a tacky Irish Pub with not one, but two Cornhole games outside. I felt happy to be outside in Orlando, past another one of its lit up fountains, in all the glorious tackiness which I usually roll my eyes at.

I don’t know why a smile hovered on my lips instead of a breeze of complaints. I don’t know how that Orlando parking lot remained beautiful for the dusky fade of a half hour. Who knows. But I guess that happens sometimes. It happens.

 

 

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