“The only difference between a winner and a loser is a winner plays until he wins.” -Big K.R.I.T.
I’m really terrible at laundry. I don’t know what it is, but I always shrink the dark clothes. Sometimes I even forget to load the washer. And twice I’ve had to run the damn thing empty because I poured way too much bleach in the water. On top of everything else, I’m starting to find little holes in everything. I just can’t catch a break.
I’m also not the best cook. I can usually follow a recipe pretty well, but my imagination is very limited. Once in a while, I’ll add a little extra of this or that, but for the most part, I just stick with the recipe and ingredients as they are. This, unfortunately, has led to one time uses of things like jicama – which, by the way, I had to Google to even know what it was.
But I really enjoy having no dirty clothes in my house, and I also really enjoy cooking. Admittedly, I’m not very good at either. (My poor fiance suffers from that fact.) But something about the continued effort is really satisfying to me. I love that no one, including myself, expects me to be the best at these things. I love that I don’t feel like overcooking chicken or losing socks is the end of the world. And mostly, I love the genuine feeling of accomplishment I get from simply trying, with absolutely no regard to whether I succeed or fail.
There was a point in my life when being the best was all that mattered. So much so, that all of my efforts and all of the accolades along the way to my ultimate goal were completely lost on me. I didn’t see the baby steps. I didn’t value my achievements. I just wanted to be the best. Consequently, I grew so exhausted by all of the work leading up to such anticlimactic goals that I soon lost my desire to try. If I saw a road too long, tedious or paved with failure, I would almost certainly turn the other way. I figured, for a road that long, there was just no way the destination could justify the journey.
Only wanting to be the best at something is the exact same thing as not accepting anything less than perfection. So when failure isn’t an option, you can imagine the crisis when it does occur–because it definitely will occur. But when we accept failure as a natural part of success, we realize that falling short is not a valid reason to give up. The intention shouldn’t be to be the best at everything. It should, however, be to do your best at everything. By opening ourselves up to the possibility of failure, we learn to enjoy the ups and downs that come along with reaching for our goals.
Beyond just cooking and doing laundry, there are plenty of other things that I’m not that great at. (Interviews, public speaking, jogging, math, etc.) But that’s ok. Because I know if I just keep at it, and I set reasonable and realistic goals for myself, I will undoubtedly get better. And that’s definitely good enough for me.