awakened af : how to

We Can Never Be the Best at Anything, So We Should All Stop Trying

This might sound like a very negative position but stay with me because I have a valid point to make.

The ideal doesn’t exist

The best mile time, the best rewrite, the best photo edit, the best recipe for keto cookies, the best version of ourselves….none of these ideals exist.

Our bosses, our coach, our editor, or mentor might tell us that we’ve achieved the best version of something, but they’re wrong.

They mean well, but they’re still wrong.

Only the now exists

Your 7-minute mile (my personal best in high school – did I mention I loathe running?) might be your fastest to date, but you might still be able to shave a few seconds off of it. That technical writing piece or blog post you worked so hard to revise might be the best it’s going get in the time you have left to work on it, but it could always be better.

Likewise, endlessly editing that cool selfie isn’t going to get you any additional likes on Instagram or followers on your blog. Perfecting the keto cookie recipe isn’t going to help you lose any additional pounds because…well, they’re cookies!  😆 

Am I saying that we shouldn’t try to improve any of the above markers of growth?


Am I saying we should all be satisfied with our current status for each?

No, and yes…

Instead, be better right now

Spending too much time dreaming of and planning for the future version of ourselves isn’t the best use of our time and energy. Sure, a bit of positive visualization can help raise our level of motivation for a task we envision, but visualization alone won’t get us there.

Instead, we need to be honest with ourselves. Acknowledging (read: taking an honest and critical look at) our current state is, however, a beneficial first step toward personal growth of any kind… and by critical, I mean being honest and not engaging in self-blame or self-criticism.

Some self-examination…

I may not be the best writer, but I hold an honest view of my current state:

I may not be the best father or grandfather, but I hold an honest view of where I stand:

I’m not the best employee, but I know what I do well:

I may not be the world’s most minimalist person, but I know what works for me:

We are what we are

The best versions of ourselves are right here in real time waiting to move forward.

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