My whole life I have been able to pick up various skills with general ease. Everything from sports to school came extremely easy to me, for the most part. But throughout the years I’ve come to realize that while I can easily pick up and learn new skills, I don’t feel that I’m truly great at anything. And while some people tell me they would rather be good at a bunch of different things than great at just one, I’m still not sure which route is better.
When it came to school I managed to go all through high school with a B average and graduated with a GPA that allowed me to get into the colleges I applied to. It also netted me cheaper car insurance for a few years, which was my actual end goal. But all those papers and tests weren’t that hard. I never found myself studying hours for a test or stressing out about writing a paper or doing a report. Often times I would put things off until the last minute and either not end up studying at all, or doing the report/paper the night before, and even in doing so still managed to pull off decent grades. I actually had a very similar experience when it came to college and exams/papers.
I consider myself a fairly smart person, and maybe if I applied myself just a bit more I would have been able to excel academically and do even better than I did, but I didn’t see the point. And I don’t think that’s the mentality I have with everything I do, but maybe it is.
I played baseball in high school because I enjoyed the sport, I had played it for years, but once I didn’t make the varsity team my junior year (I was actually asked to come out, but was told that I probably wouldn’t play because there was a player better than me that would get more time), I didn’t see the point. I still played baseball for the park district team and loved every minute of it, and continue to play softball to this day, but if I would have just applied myself a bit more back then, would I have been able to play in college? Funny story, I did try out as a walk-on for the Western Illinois baseball team as a left-handed pitcher, but with only a fastball and a curve ball in my arsenal, and throwing a wild pitch that almost hit the coach, I did not get a call back. I did, however, beat every single person there in the 40-yard dash, which made me feel good.
This is the same with every athletic activity that I try… I can pick it up and figure out the rules and play the games well, but it doesn’t mean that I’m really great at any of them.
When it comes to my careers skills, I’m good in a bunch of general areas… photography, photoshop, design, video editing, web marketing, web development, etc., but I don’t feel I’m great at any of it, but is that a bad thing?
That’s what I’m trying to figure out at this point in my life.
I like being well versed in a multitude of different things, and I like knowing that I can usually figure out any problem I have to solve, if I decide to put my mind to it. And when I do figure out those problems it feels good, but that’s where it stops. I have no desire to become truly great at those things I’m pretty good at and I would much rather be good at something rather than put in the time to be truly great at anything, so maybe I just answered my own question….
However, these days there is one thing that I try to put all my effort towards…being a good father.
Maybe I was just leaving that one “great” thing on the sidelines until something really amazing deserved all of my attention…
At this point in my life I honestly don’t care what most people think of me or my quirks or habits, but would my life be any better/different if I were truly great at one thing?
I guess it is, now that I’m a father. And while I want to be great at being a father, and have no desire to be great at anything else (good is enough for me), the very definition of being a great father is sort of a culmination of everything I’m good at. I’m good at my job, I’m good with finances, I’m good at being social (for the most part, ha!), I’m a good friend, I believe I’m a good husband (I can always be better), I’m generally a good person all around… all of these things that I’m good at seem to come together in being a great father. And that’s not to say that I will push any of my husbandly duties to the side just because it’s on the “good” side of things, it just means that I have to continue to be a good husband in order to be that great father that I want to be. And I believe my wife would agree with me on that.
I think this whole time I thought I was just good at things was because I just hadn’t found that thing that I was meant to be great at…