“If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn’t thinking.”

George S. Patton, General U. S. Army

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

Mark Twain

"The ancestor of every action is thought."


"All that we are is the result of what we have thought."


"When you are not told what to do you begin to think what to do."

Roger Cohen, Op-Ed Columnist New York Times

"No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking."


"Never be afraid to sit awhile and think."

Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun

"You and I are not what we eat; we are what we think."

Walter Anderson, The Confidence Course

"Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?"

Winnie the Pooh

"Time to think matters ─ at least if we’re interested in getting the answers right."

Stephen L. Carter

"Thinking is always out of order, interrupts all ordinary activities and is interrupted by them."

Hannah Arendt, Life of the Mind

"Too often we…enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."

John F. Kennedy

"The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds."

Will Durant

"Thinking is like living and dying. Each of us must do it for himself."

Josiah Royce

"Some people get lost in thought because it's such unfamiliar territory."

G. Behn

"The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking."

Albert Einstein

"Pursuing our thoughts in silent contemplation takes an investment in time that few can spare."

Stephen L. Carter

"A moment’s thinking is an hour in words."

Thomas Hood

"Sometimes I think and other times I am."

Paul, Variete: Cantiques spirituels 192

"To think is to differ."


"To think is to live."


"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."

William Jones

"What we think, we become."


"Our job is not to make up anybody’s mind, but to open minds and to make the agony of the decision-making so intense you can escape only by thinking."


"The person who thinks before he speaks is silent most of the time."


"Think ─ and you will be very lonely."


"Thought is action in rehearsal."


"We live in a world that leaves very little time to contemplate."


"Don’t worry too much about what people think because they seldom do."


"Invest a few moments in thinking. It will pay good interest."


"One cannot think crooked and walk straight."


"Think Differently + Do Things Differently = Better Results"


May 14, 2014

When “Good Enough” Isn’t

Tags: Business, Promotion, Design,

One of my photographers posted this comparison shot on LinkedIn last week with the comment, “This hits the nail on the head.” He’s frustrated because his competition these days is anyone with a cell phone or digital camera (that would be everyone). Not to mention the trend toward using Stock photography. The same stuff you see coming-and-going on every billboard, greeting card, ad and website. For him, it’s starting to get a bit ugly out there.

A friendly competitor once told me his biggest fear was that one day, “good enough would be good enough.”

I sense a lot of that attitude now. We’re all so busy doing more with less that sometimes, “good enough” just has to do.

But I’m never comfortable with it.

The recession took a lot of the fun out of dreaming big, taking risks, trying new things. It made everyone just a little more careful, a little more hesitant to think too far, for too long. The day ahead had enough challenges of its own.

I can’t tell you how many meetings I’ve been in over the past six years where the client or prospect started the discussion with, “We need X,Y,Z…but we don’t have any money.”

(I think they were hoping I would see it as a challenge).

(I didn’t).

Just imagine what one could do on the job with unlimited time, dollars, hands-on-deck, and creative license.

What if your boss/client said: Here’s the assignment, do what you think best, select and assemble your A-team, take the time you need, and money’s no object.

Given that latitude and support, you’d end up with the equivalent of the visual masterpiece, Life of Pi.

And well you should.

But what happens when the boss describes a Life of Pi project vision, but is unable to provide the budget, resources and production time frame you need to hire the best talent, scout the best locations, and invest in the highest quality visual effects.

Well, that’s when you end up with Pi and the Finicky Alley Cat.

And in the end, nobody’s happy about it.

There’s a great poster out there from a company called Despair, Inc. It features the Leaning Tower of Pisa with the caption, Mediocrity: It takes a lot less time and most people won’t notice the difference until it’s too late.

Oh, we notice alright.

But sometimes, in every type of work, we have to “settle,” pick our battles, and move on.

(“I can live with the scruffy cat with attitude if you can…”).

I think it’s fair to say that most people start a project -- a goal -- with the best possible intent and expectations.

They want the finished product to live up to the “client brief.”

("“What is well done is done forever,” said Henry David Thoreau).

I empathize with my photographer because he has something of beauty to offer, not the least of which is a unique talent and perspective. We all have that in some capacity so it’s hard to accept mediocrity, compromise, and budget shortfalls, when you just know things could be done so much better.

So what to do?

Try doing less. But do those few things First Class (or why waste your time at all).

If you have to settle because of limited resources, settle for impactful.

If you have to choose, choose wisely.

Don’t settle for a cat when you need a tiger.

Anita Alvare (bio)/Alvare Associates/610-520-6140
Photography, Life of Pi

Since establishing Alvaré in 1981, Anita has guided the agency through more than 30 years of steady growth and success. A marketing communications entrepreneur who has done it all, she remains deeply involved in strategic planning and creative direction, bringing extensive knowledge and insight to each client project.


Blog Post Archive

RSS Feed

Sign up for RSS feeds from Alvaré to stay up to date with the latest from our agency and what we have been thinking about.

Leave a Comment (All Fields Required)

Your comments will be submitted and posted upon approval. We reserve the right not to post any comments or content that we do not feel contributes to the positive discourse of our site.

Comments (3)

Bill Eberle

Love your blog/writing….........


Amen to that!

Allison DeFord

Amen, sister!