Posts tagged gratitude
I Don't Need to Be Brilliant

I put a lot of pressure on myself. I am my own worst critic. I cut myself less slack than anyone else possibly could. If I don’t, I might create something that sucks. I might make myself vulnerable to legitimate criticism. I could cut off the bad stuff at the source and let only the most brilliant, genius, groundbreaking material get out into the public. That would be such a relief. Then I’d know everything I create will be wonderful, because I’ve already given myself so much shit and demanded I be great from the start.

If only it worked that way.

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There's Always Someone Better

Everyone has known that one person who seems to be good at everything; specifically, the person that is better than you at everything. It even seems like the things that you’re especially good at are the things they are especially better at. If you don’t know that person now, you probably did when you were a kid, and it probably brought a whole host of emotions out of you.

When I was younger, I used to get angry and jealous of that person.

I loved drawing cartoons as a kid, and I was sort of good at it. Good enough to get noticed for it, anyway. Then I made friends with a kid who was particularly advanced at art. I was OK at copying a drawing from a comic book, but he could conjure up his own images that looked ready to be printed by Marvel. When he was around, I felt like he stole my thunder. I felt like he took away the one thing that made me stand out. Although I certainly admired his natural skill, I was also jealous.

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The Romance of the Ideal

Every once in a while, we all get filled with hope for some romantic notion in our lives. It could be about a personal dream, an ideal, or, more literally, an actual romance. It’s inevitable, really, and it seems to be in our genes to romanticize and fantasize—why else would we have entire industries (the film industry for one) built around it? Most of us would claim that we want to be realistic, but there are certain moments when we don’t want to allow ourselves to let go of that romantic notion we’ve created. Usually it’s because we’ve actually seen it happen in some way, shape or form in other people. For every person who has repeatedly said that life events simply don’t happen like they do in the movies, there is someone else who has seen a real “Hollywood moment” that seemed to be plucked straight out of a screenplay.

 

The Blurry Line

 

I myself live on both sides of the coin. I claim to live my life on the general principles of logic and rationality, yet continue to find myself embracing the fantastical. I’ve always wondered where to draw the line between keeping my feet on the ground and my head in the clouds. There’s obviously no hard and fast answer (although I love Will Smith’s take that surrendering to the “real world” is the quickest path to mediocrity, which you can see in a great video compiling his philosophies), but the more I think about it, the more I realize that you can’t draw a line where the edges are blurred; if logic is black and white but dreams are colorful, trying to find the middle ground seems futile.

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Don't Sweat the Huge Stuff

Life is pretty imperfect, and we should probably carefully adjust our expectations. That might come off as a bit cynical, but it’s not meant to be. Let me explain.

I heard Shaun White being interviewed on the radio one morning. He was talking about how he won an Olympic gold medal after an incredible performance on the snowboard half-pipe, got interviewed by Oprah, learned that he would be on the cover of Rolling Stone for the second time, found himself flying to Italy and sitting front row in a major fashion show, and heard President Obama mention him in a speech to the nation.

And this was all within one week of his life.

Pretty amazing. Stories about people living life beyond our wildest dreams no doubt makes many of us picture what our “perfect life” would entail. Of course, Shaun White’s life isn’t really perfect, and he deals with his share of bullshit just like rest of us. But that’s not my point.

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