Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Good, The Bad and The Greatest.

Take a whiff of any food item that has turned and you’ll understand that the difference between good and bad can be starkly dramatic. Sometimes nauseatingly so.

But the difference between good and great or great and greater? It's harder to figure out because it’s much subtler. Nuanced shades of grey rather than black and white.

I remember once having the opportunity to sample a thimbleful of Scotch from a $200 bottle. I’m by no means a Scotch connoisseur (or is it aficionado?), but I would like to think that I am able to appreciate greatness in any form. So I tried it and I was underwhelmed by it. It was Scotch; smooth Scotch at that. But put a glass from a $40 bottle in front of me and I’d be hard pressed to justify the extra $160 and yet, there are those who find that slight difference a difference worth paying for. 

And that’s the thing I don’t think people realize: to jump from bad to good doesn’t cost that much. To go from good to great can cost a significant amount. But that next jump, from great to greater or even the greatest, can sometimes be exponential as the skill involved in discerning between subtle nuances becomes more specialize and, frankly, more rare.

A popular sentiment is that "greatness happens over time". Do a good thing over and over again consistently and eventually you become great. Whether that's fixing a drain, catching passes in sporting contests or writing thoughts down on a page. 

For some, good will be good enough. For others, good will always just be another form of bad.