“How many of us reach a point where we know, with absolute certainty, that we’ve given our best and it’s good enough?”
The subject of doubt and uncertainty touched on here, directly opposes the feelings associated with knowing – without any doubt whatsoever – that we’ve done the best we can. The best we can with the skills and resources we have available.
We could now ask: if we had greater skill and resources could we do better? It’s certainly the case, at the very least, we would do things slightly differently given greater skills and resources, but does this amount to better?
“There must come a point when we see the product of our labour as being just what it is: enough”
Does a painter keep returning to their masterpiece over and over again? They may look to refine certain areas of their work; we know the masters of the past often repainted areas, in an attempt to improve matters, and yet there must be a point, even with works of art, where enough is enough.
“How do we reach this point of certainty? How do we actually manage to make the decision that something we’ve created is good enough?”
If we continue to question our work we eventually fail. What would happen if a surgeon became unsure, kept their patient anaesthetised, and went back to the wound again and again? Obviously, just as the disease did in the first place, the operation would begin to endanger the life of the subject. We must stop, and if the patient still doesn’t make it, we must be certain that we did our best or suffer ourselves.
So once again, how do we reach this crucial decision? Well, based on our area of expertise, it comes down to expectations built on beliefs. What do we believe our best looks, sounds, and feels like?
Can we use the example of Vincent van Gogh? What expectation did he have before he started painting The Sunflowers? It could be that genius has a lot to do with having no expectations and beliefs of what best is. That there was no before, in his mind.
Genius or not, the decision to stop painting, is simply that: a decision. And that is based on the need to end one thing, and move on to another; the need for change, and the opportunity to do things differently, rather than better.
What will your next project be?