For evolution to be exclusively about competition, conflict would have to be permanent. We would never get anywhere by working together, and we would never reprioritize personal gain for the sake of teamwork.
Our regular lives show us that can’t be true.
Every day we wake up and cooperate with others to achieve goals.
When people talk about survival of the fittest, they’re often rationalizing a cutthroat approach. The reality tends to be a lot more docile than that worldview might suggest.
When we get things done in our jobs, families, partnerships, and projects, we’re almost always working with others to make something positive happen.
Far from notions of hard knocks, evolution is collaborative.
For anyone who builds things, there’s the temptation to let perfection get in the way, especially when we’re talking about building things that are digital, community-based, social, or artistic.
There is always something we can do that would marginally improve some aspect of what we’ve built without actually making it more effective. An aesthetic tweak here, a conceptual afterthought here, etc etc.
There are times when our creative spirit can work against us. These are the times when we jump down that rabbit hole to make or “improve” that thing when the upside is very small, despite the fact that it allows us to scratch some itch.
Creative expeditions can be hugely helpful, but they have to be well timed.
If they function as a distraction from the high value work we should be doing, the result is a treadmill. If they arise from a strategic buffer we’ve created for our project, then we’re actually going somewhere.
As we look ahead to a new year of accepting good enough and avoiding becoming the bottleneck, the question looms, what’s the highest value thing we could be doing right now to ensure that our project will flourish?