It Gets Better at the End

I've been kicking around an idea for the past little while. I've had several conversations with friends about my lack of ambition but I've come to realize that what I call lack of ambition is actually fear and laziness. I fear not being great at things and I'm too lazy to try to be my best when I realize I won't be the best.

If I had a conversation about it with myself, it might go something like this...

Pouty me is on the left, optimistic me is on the right.
Pouty Me: I like to be good at things.
Optimistic Me: Everyone likes to be good at things.
Me: But I want to be the best.
Me: That's cool. Let's just be honest, though, you're probably never going to be the best at anything other than being yourself.
Me: (pouting) That sucks. If I can't be the most awesome ever, I quit!
Me: (optimistically) Maybe you could just try to be your best at this, see how much you can improve over time. It will be a lot of work but it will be worth it.
Me: (with a look of chagrin) All that hard work to not be the best? Not worth it. Btw, you're stupid. (stomps away and slams a few doors)
Me: What is wrong with that crazy chick?

So, I get all excited about some new activity or hobby or whatever and I go at it whole hog. For a little while, I don't need to be the best because it's all shiny and new. I'm especially happy at this point if I'm getting praise for what an awesome thing I'm doing. Then, one day, it clicks that I am NEVER going to be the most creative bookbinder, the most innovative photographer, the fastest runner, the best student, whatever. The rivers of praise and encouragement also slow down to more like a steady stream. Then, by slow increments, I give up.

The momentum that I picked up at the beginning of the new, shiny thing drains away quickly as I get to the hard part - the slogging, unnoticed, uphill work of slow improvement that may never be noticed or rewarded.

I don't like this about myself. The only way to change is to choose to stick it to some habit when it gets difficult, to become the best I can be in some area, to face the slow uphill slog, breathe deeply, and keep moving. So, that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to keep running and see just how much better at it I can be.

Just saying it is like a weight off my shoulders. Whew!

Ever had a disappointing revelation about yourself? What did you do about it?
Do you ever feel like Gollum when he's arguing with himself? (Happens to me all the time...)
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