I think that the word “ideally” has become a crutch. Or maybe we’ve just forgotten that the word has more than one meaning.

Ideally – a: conformably to or in respect to an ideal; b: for best results; c: in accordance with an ideal or typical standard

Whenever you hear someone preface something that they want to (or are planning to) do with this word as a modifier it likely means that they are going in with the notion that as long as thy have that third definition of ideally in mind that what they are doing will be somewhat successful. It’s as if they define the term as “I’d like to achieve the best outcome possible but I know it’s going to be challenging so I’ll settle for whatever the standard is.”

In a way, they’re saying that the cards are already stacked against them even before they do anything.

We should stop striving for the typical standard and strive for the best possible outcome. Because that first definition of ideally waters down your work to a level of mediocrity.

And that’s not the ideal at all.