Not Everything Has to be Great
Andrew O’Hagan’s article in the Times Magazine travel section bemoans our distaste for adequacy in an era of awesome:
Not just in travel, but in terms of food, fashion, music, business ideas and design, the lovely, enabling idea that things can just be â€œfine,â€ is under threat. Nothingâ€™s allowed to be fine because, to the hyped-up mind, â€œfineâ€ sounds quite a lot like â€œmediocre.â€
Not everything has to be great… In my slow but persistent bid for the readerâ€™s sanity, I hereby prescribe a period of allowing things to be adequate.
I fall victim to the Cult of Awesome:Â I search endlessly for the perfect product with every trivial Amazon order;Â I spiral cut my hot dogs; I hand grind the coffee for my Aero Press; I Instagram. Why?
Striving for the excellent and awesome is the way to go. But I think it is important to rein it in and accept how rare awesome is. Everything is marketed as if it is awesome, but most things aren’t. Android vs iPhone; Coke vs Pepsi, french press vs pour over.Â Having a choice between two things doesn’t necessitate that one is fine and one is awesome. Typically both things are fine at best.
I want to recognize this false dichotomy and allow things to be adequate. Doing so will save my time and energy and ensure that I am aware and ready when an opportunity for awesome finally shows itself.