Everything you do must be done with amazement and boldness. It’s not acceptable to do anything less than excellence. Settling for mediocrity is settling for failure. That’s the idea that’s pushed out there. You’re pressured to choose either go zero or one hundred, and oftentimes when you realize you can’t hit that one hundred, you just take the zero and choose not to do it at all.
I mean why give it what you got if what you got isn’t enough? Maybe you’re like a 30 or a 40 but if the standard is 100, then you’re just gonna throw your hands in the air and not even make any sort of attempt to make it happen.
We have a big strive for “perfection.” Like if you’re not being absolutely stellar at your performance, you’re a failure. It’s black or white. Either make it to the finish line or don’t start the race. Either you do it at a complete level of mastery or don’t do it at all. Either be the best or don’t even try. You’re either at the top or the bottom; there’s no middle.
I don’t know about you, but the standard of perfection makes me want to just sit on the couch all day and not put in any sort of effort at all in anything. I mean I ain’t perfect and I ain’t ever gonna be, so screw it! ...is what I say.
If you ask me to hold my breath underwater for two minutes and I can barely last a few seconds, I’m not gonna go out of my way to even try. Like what’s the point?
But ya know what? I don’t buy into this whole notion of all or nothing You don’t need to excel in order to be great. You don’t need to be perfect order to earn success. You just need to be...good enough, and at that, you can be quite shitty. You can suck at it. You can half ass it.
See, some things are beneficial to do at any level, not just max level. I’m talking about how it’s completely okay to be “in the middle”, instead of at the top. It’s okay to be lazy and barely put in any effort instead of work your ass off to the point of burn out. It’s okay to be a slacker and put in what little effort and ability you have, even if it’s not the absolute best, even if it’s barely anything at all.
You can be shit at something but that doesn't make you shit.
Despite whatever sort of arbitrary societal standards are out there, you don’t actually have to “win or die.” Your worthiness as a person does not have to be determined by whether or not you’re going above and beyond the call of duty.
Speaking of Call of Duty, just because you die in every match doesn’t mean it’s not worth playing. Take the shots you can, even if you miss. Being a noob doesn’t mean you should uninstall the game (even though all the toxic hardcore players will tell you that along with insults to your mother). That is to say, you don’t have to be a master at a skill (playing Call of Duty or otherwise) in order to even spend time doing it. It’s okay spending time doing an activity as a noob. It’s okay to spend time on an activity when you’re utter shit at it.
Just because you suck at something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest the effort into doing it. You may be an idiot, who can’t do things well or doesn’t know shit, but that means there’s room to grow, not that you shouldn’t do it.
Besides, you’ll get better...eventually. Just do what you can for now. Accomplish what you actually can, not what you’re expected to.
Your worthiness as a human being is not measured by your level of feats. You’re human and that very fact is in itself worthy.
There’s a quote I’d like to share with you form Zig Ziglar that really creates the TLDR version of what I’m saying, and it goes like this:
“Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.”
It’s a bit odd. It sounds like it’s saying that you should do a shit/poor job in anything really meaningful. That doesn’t make sense. I mean, shouldn’t I be good at something worth doing?
It took me a while and fully embracing my laziness to understand what it meant.
It’s not saying to just do things poorly for the sake of doing them poorly. It’s saying there are certain things in life that Even IF you do them poorly, they are still worth doing in the first place. Even IF you put in a shoddy effort it’s still valuable. The very act of doing them is worthy, even without any sort of excellence or amazing feat.
Taking care of your hygiene and mental health, developing a social life, building a career -- these are the types of things that are “worth it” no matter what, even if you manage to put in a shitty job at it.
Imagine a diamond. It’s a bit rough on the edges, a bit stained with dirt, and weathered. But it’s still a diamond. It’s still very valuable. It’s still worth holding onto rather than chucking in the river since it’s full of flaws.
Likewise, there are certain “diamonds” in life, certain things that hold value even if they otherwise look terrible. They are worth embracing for the sake of embracing them, and not necessarily owning the “perfect diamond.” You shouldn’t chuck these values away just because they’re a little rough around the edges.
In other words, it’s not zero or one hundred. It’s not black or white. There’s an entire spectrum, a bit of grey. Allow yourself to squeeze in the middle rather than choose to either jump to the top or fall flat to the bottom. This isn’t either or. There are many rungs on the ladder.
The lazy thing would be to just do nothing, am I right?
But true laziness is doing just enough. It’s doing what you can, even if it’s hardly anything at all. Laziness is doing what you want, as much as you want, without forcing yourself or pressuring yourself to exceed your own abilities or work ethic.
You can succeed with having to exceed, if that makes sense. You don’t have to win the World Series in order to play baseball. You don’t have to become a millionaire in order to start a business. You don’t have to be the most popular person in town in order to have a social life.
Don’t compare yourself to others or the standard of perfection. Compare yourself to your own past self and see how far you have come. Do what you can, rather than do what you think is expected of you.
The expectation given to us to do it ALL the way. No holds barred. Either top it or flop it. That’s what we’re told. Get good or get out.
It’s as if being in between being nothing and being superb is completely unacceptable in this achievement-driven society. But you should “stay in” no matter what. Play the game, even if you’re not the top athlete.
“The sky is the limit” so they say. No, the limit is wherever you want it to be. You don’t have to fly high in order to flap your wings. Go as high as you want to, as high as you are able to.
You’re not worthless just because you’re not top dog.
Don’t listen when they say “just do it”. That implies you have to make it or break it. Get there or get no where. It implies you either succeed OR fail, like there’s no such thing as getting closer.
Look, life is not that “one or the other”. There is in fact the possibility to get closer to a goal, without actually reaching it and that is completely okay. If you want to lose thirty pounds but only lose four, you did it! You did what you could.
Do it “a little bit, do it “kind of”, do it...the lazy way. Use the resources of time, money, and energy that you personally have to do what you can. Don’t aim to do more than you have the resources for.
Success is valued more than Progress in society. We look at celebrities and big entrepreneurs and we celebrate the success they made. We don’t cheer for or admire them for the Progress, the thing that got them there (to success) in the first place. We don’t understand the idea that those who are at the top had to, at some point be at the bottom. They did “what they could” until they reached the top. They didn’t just reach the top overnight.
Progress is what gets us from point A to point B. It is what gets you from loser to winner, from nobody to somebody. Every change is a result of progress.
It’s not a world of winners and losers. It’s a world of people moving from one role to the other. It’s a world of change. “Winning” is present, though it seems we often seem to think of it in past tense. If we describe someone as “winning” at life, it means they have already won. It means they have already paved their way to success, not that they are inching towards it. They already have the money, the looks, the charm if they are “winning”
I mean, that’s the type of diction we’ve adopted in this crazy society. Winning really means you are currently in the act of achieving a win, not that the win has already been achieved, even though we like to think otherwise.
Since “winning” is an act in the present, it means right now, you are winning.
There’s forward momentum, forward progress. You’re doing what you can and that is in fact winning.
Get good, noob! - a common catchphrase you’ll hear if you play any sort of online game if your skills just aren’t up to par to people that have literally hundreds of hours clocked in. It has this tone of get good or don’t play. Like if you’re not good at what you’re doing, don’t even try. Don’t waste your time.
But I mean, how do you “get good” if you don’t spend time sucking for a while? Anyone that tells you to “get good” had to be at a level of “suck” at some point. I mean maybe there are some people with a sort of “natural talent” for things, but even then, time and practice is at the heart of anyone “good” at something.
Don’t be discouraged because of your own ability (or lack thereof) compared to others or what others expect. Compare yourself to you, not anyone else.
Practice the art of being not just good, but good enough. That’s not to say you can’t or won’t get any better. But to feel like who you are and what you’re doing is actually enough. You want to feel competent in your skills, no matter what level you’re at.
If you’re in the constant chase of getting better, you’ll never appreciate what you have in the now and will always have that aching feeling of just not being enough. That’s not to say you shouldn’t aim for improvement, but to not base your feeling of self worth on reaching said improvement.
“Be proud of how far you’ve come and have faith in how far you can go”, an old quote goes.
That is to say “I’ve done enough and I believe I can do more”. It’s a different attitude than “I won’t be good enough until…” fill in the blank (lose weight, get a new job, get married, etc.)
We set these expectations to reach and feel like “until” we get there, we’re rather worthless.
The even bigger catch? We always want MORE. We always want BETTER.
This puts us in a constant loop of never being good enough, because we’re always looking for the next upgrade. There’s always an “until”
Instead of saying you won’t be good until whatever, say “ya know what? I’m good enough, damnit!”
And that’s better than being good because you’ve reached a level of self acceptance that many do not. You’ve accepted your flaws. You’ve accepted how good you are at something, even if it’s actually pretty bad.
Acceptance is the first step towards recovery, right?
Accept who you are and how “good” you are and believe that it all is in fact “enough”. Recover from that aching feeling of self doubt that you aren’t worthy at all. You don’t have to be any more or do any more to be worthy. Sure, some day you will be better, but you are still enough even now.
Never think to yourself “I should be doing this better.” That in turn gives you the attitude of “I’m not good enough right now.” But you need to stop and put yourself in a place where you feel comfortable doing what you can do, rather than what you “should” do.
Improvement comes naturally over time, but not if you consistently beat yourself up over not achieving said improvement. By saying “I can’t get any better but I keep trying”, you create a self fulfilling prophecy and well, fail to get any better. If, on the other hand, you accept your current level of ability and think it’s “good enough”, you’ll be more inclined to actually improve in the future, as long as you make slow n’ steady PROGRESS, rather than attempting to hit success right away. Remember, you are winning; you ar ein the process of creating a win...and that’s enough to claim victory!
If you don’t feel like going out to the bar, sit on the porch with a glass to get some fresh air instead. Good enough.
If you can’t shower because you’re too depressed or tired, put on some deodorant or spray some fragrance. Good enough.
If you haven’t eaten but don’t feel like cooking anything, snack on some crackers. Good enough.
If you don’t have the energy to write a full blog, write just one single paragraph. Good enough.
If you know you should exercise to be fit and healthy, but don’t have it in you to hit the gym, take a nice stroll around the block. Good enough.
Aim not to finish the race, but at least start it and see how far you can go.
One Step is just as admirable as running a whole marathon.
Finishing a marathon is quite an amazing feat. No doubt.
But so is just taking one step in the face,
The fact is, you made your move. It wasn’t far. It wasn’t much. It quite frankly SUCKED. You were absolutely trash!
But you did it. You did something.
The takeaway here is that some things are better to do and suck at than completely avoiding
doing it all. Maybe not necessarily a marathon per say. That was more like a metaphor. But things like taking care of your health, mentally and physically, building rapport with those you care about, and finding happiness are things that you can suck at but still do.
Brushing your teeth for a few seconds is better than not brushing your teeth at all, for example.
Paying some of your bills is better than paying none of them at all.
Eating a little bit is better than starving.
One step is all it takes. One step is all you need. Slow n’ steady wins the race.
It’s NOT about earning a Participation Trophy. It’s about Self Acceptance.
Ah, participation trophies, the bane of millennials. Though who’s to blame? The kids who got the participation trophies or the parents who handed them out? But I digress.
Look, there’s a fine line between feeling good enough even though you suck and feeling entitled to rewards you didn’t earn. You shouldn’t feel like you deserve the best when you’re not best. You shouldn’t feel like you’ve earned success when you’ve barely earned a living.
If you do take that simple storll aorund the block instead of hitting the gym, you can’t expect to reach the same level of fitness and health.
If you do eat crackers instead of a full cooked meal, you can’t expect to get the same level of nutrition.
You get the gist. You reap what you sow. Don’t beat yourself up if you only have the energy to reap very little. Be happy with what you have, what you earned, instead of longing something out of your reach.
You have to come to grips with the reality of the fact that just because you are “good enough” doesn’t mean you deserve anything “good.” It also doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t get any better. By saying you’re good enough, you’re not saying “I deserve the best”. No. What you’re saying is “Even though I do not have the best or even deserve the best, that’s okay.”
You love yourself for who are and don’t spoil yourself like an entitled brat, acting like you should have it all when you barely put in anything to earn it.
So go ahead. Suck at things. Be shit at it. Absolute garbage. And keep in mind that it’s still worth doing anyway, despite your lack of skill, knowledge, expertise, or energy to perform.
Be a N00b. You don’t have to be PRO to play the game.
Don’t let any sort of arbitrary expectations convince you that you’re a worthless. Find worth in yourself, even if right now you’re no cream of the crop.
Learn the guitar one chord at a time. Don’t try to shred like Jimi Hendrix the first time you pick it up.
Be patient with yourself. Take time to do things that are good for you, even if you aren’t too good at it. After all, too much perfection is a mistake.
It's better to go half-ass than no ass.