Saturday, January 25, 2014

getting it done

I have always liked Chesterton's quote, “if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly,” which appeals to me. It means I don't have to agonize over whether or not I'll be good enough before I start.

Now I've heard, "getting it right is better than getting it done." I think I like Chesterton's take on it better. If I wait until I'm sure I'll get it right before I do it, I'll never start!

The Chesterton quote isn't an excuse for doing it badly, but it certainly removes an excuse to procrastinate. I think it assumes you'll do your best, and if that's bad, well -if the thing was worthy of doing at all- at least you tried your best.


  1. I grew up with "if you´re not going to finish, don´t bother to start" and "if you can´t do it properly, don´t do it". Forty years on, I know that if you know how to do it properly before you start, you´re not exactly being creative, but rather repeating what everyone else has done already, and that you can´t know before starting something if it´s right for you. As the Norwegians say: "it´s never too late to give up". Chesterton knew a thing or two about being creative, and the value of feedback, probably.

    I think we are old enough to make our own mottos! Here is my first effort:

    "If it seems too difficult to do, and you haven´t got a clue,
    it´s probably worth a try, even if it will make you cry
    before you figure it out, and triumphanty shout: I can do it!"
    Then watch this (because this is a multimedia-motto):

    1. i love, "it's never too late to give up." lol yes, sometimes that's all you can do.

      i found that clip here: and got a kick out of it. i've only seen the 1968 version of the film

  2. Nike says it better, Just do it, no ambiguity about doing quality work.