B Minus Work

We’ve got a lot of work to do, kids, to make the world a better place. You’ve worked hard to get where you are. You have excelled. You likely work toward perfection. Have you ever heard that perfect is the enemy of the good? (My translation: holding on to work to perfect it may stall the work altogether; preventing the good that may result from completing the work and putting it into the world.) You are now on a trajectory of learning how much is required to do good work. You might also be on a trajectory of learning about your own nature to perfect work, perhaps facing fear that you are not quite good enough. Here is an idea: consider being comfortable with B- work. (Shhhhh – don’t tell your professors that I suggested this). I don’t just mean not beating yourself up if you get a grade of B-. Actually plan on it. And don’t just consider this for classes, but in all the work that you do. Wrap it up and move it out. Why? Our amazing human lives here are not endless. And our amazing human bodies and brains need sleep, movement, and care. The more you put your work into the world, the more chances it has of making the world a better place.

Truth be told, there may be situations where you need to strive for A level work. You may be a faculty member competing for grant funding, where the competition is fierce for limited funding. But you know what? The process of funding grants has a bit of randomness in it. I wonder myself if I submitted more grants that were pretty good, if I wouldn’t receive more funding than if I submitted fewer that were excellent. I’m considering this, anyway.

For now – ward against perfection. Protect your time by wrapping up work that is pretty good. Because here is the thing that I know for sure: Your B- work is rock solid.