So let me explain something about myself. Maybe this will come off as arrogant, but whatever, it’s honest.
I’ve always felt that I could do anything, as long as I put in the effort. I might not be great at it, but I’d be more than just competent also. I’d be good. At anything. So the only reason I’m not good at certain things is because I haven’t put in the effort.
This goes for any subject in school. Science, arts, or whatever. Name a subject, and I believe that I could be good at it. Even stuff like drawing or painting. Dunno if you know this but I used to be a pretty good artist when I was a kid. Just stopped, dunno why. But yeah, honestly, I still believe I could be good at that now if I tried.
Other stuff also, like video games. Just, in my heart of hearts, I believe that if I put in the effort, I can be good at any game. Not the best, but very good. This goes with any board game also.
But yeah, this applies to literally anything. I think I can be good at it. With nothing do I feel this more than music. Just, I dunno, I believe that if I put my mind to it, I can play any instrument, and play it well. Really well. And, I dunno, for the most part, it’s true. Just, I’ve always been good at piano, and any instrument I’ve picked up, I’ve gotten pretty good at.
Uh, did I ever mention this? During Jr. High, when I was playing piano on the jazz band, I was also first chair clarinet for concert band, and made all-section. I dunno, that combo, and being the best musician in both groups on different instruments, was pretty impressive at the time. Again, I don’t think I was great, but I was pretty good.
That’s the thing. The reason I feel this way is just, I dunno, for the most part, it’s true. Just, empirically, I’ve been good at anything I’ve tried. I think this is why Dave thinks I’m first tier intelligence. Just, I’ve never had the experience of trying to do something and feeling I couldn’t be good at it. Again, good, not great. So in that sense, I’ve never felt my limits. Just, I see things differently because of that good/great thing. I’ve frequently felt my limits in the sense of knowing I couldn’t be great at something.
The only area in which this doesn’t hold is with physical stuff, like sports. I’ve never been particularly athletic, and no matter how hard I try, I’ll never be even a good athlete. But even then, I dunno, I’ll always be a smart athlete, which makes a big difference when you’re young or old. When I played soccer as a kid, my coach made me middle halfback, which at the time was a pretty critical position. I scored no goals that season, but at the end of the year coach Gorton thought I did because I was a smart player.
Anyway, yeah, that’s how I approach things. So anything I get into, be it guitar, drums, DDR, Beatmania, even C-Strike (even though I currently suck), I go in fully expecting to be really good at it eventually.
The thing is, I dunno, maybe you disagree, but, this doesn’t make me super competitive. It does in a sense, and it doesn’t in a sense. It does in the sense that, I don’t like putting myself out there and getting shown up later by someone else, that whole pride thing. But it doesn’t in the sense that, I dunno, honestly, it doesn’t bother me when people are better than me. Because again, it’s not about me being the best, just really good. It’s almost a self challenge, if that makes any sense. So yeah, I don’t feel threatened when people are better than me at stuff; I just want to be really good. But maybe I’m wrong about this.
Uh, why am I writing this again? No clue. But anyway, I’ve been thinking about it, and I dunno, I think I’m wrong. Just, there’s a lot of bad things about this arrogant attitude I have.
First thing is this. I make a terrible teacher. I always contrast myself with Henry. Henry’s infinitely annoyed, pretty much all of the time, about pretty much everything, but when he’s teaching someone something, he’s infinitely patient. It’s weird.
SN. This is one of the two huge Henry paradoxes I’ll never understand. Actually, make that three. How he can be constantly annoyed, and yet infinitely patient. How Henry is infinitely (intentionally) annoying, and yet Lorraine, who finds my mild annoying qualities strange, is in love with him. And how someone who prides himself on subtlety and refined tastes owns so many Peter Cetera CDs. I don’t get it; never will.
So yeah, infinitely patient. I’ll never forget this one random night he taught me about stocks in Rains. Just, it took forever because I literally knew nothing, but he was infinitely patient in going through everything from the beginning.
In contrast to me. I can be a pretty good teacher, but when people don’t understand things, I lose patience really quickly. It’s a terrible characteristic of mine. And, I think the reason is, for me, when I don’t get something, it’s all about effort. I’m just not putting enough effort into it. It’s not about ability. I can do it. I’m just not working hard enough at it.
So when other people have difficulty, I think I instinctively assume of them what’s true of myself. They’re just not trying hard enough. And that’s what frustrates me. I dunno, it’s terrible because sometimes people actually have limitations in what they can understand, and I have no empathy for that. I can’t overstate how terrible this is.
The other thing I’ve been thinking recently is, I dunno, I don’t think it’s true. I don’t think I can do everything. On the contrary, there’s a whole bunch of things I can’t do well at all.
What I’m coming to realize about myself, and maybe I’m wrong, but it’s my current thinking, but I think I intentionally limit myself so I never test my true limits. Just, if you know me, I’m insanely lazy with certain things, and really hesitant to do certain things. And, I’m trying to understand why I’m like that. And I think a big part of it is, it lets me maintain my arrogance. Just, if I never test my limits in an area, I can always believe I can be good at it. But if I actually try, that might not turn out to be true. So, I stick with things I know I can be good at.
And there’s a disconnect with what I say and what I feel. I dunno, it’s complicated. Maybe I should give an example. Anyway, yeah, if you know me, I’m super super hesitant to take on leadership roles. And I always say stuff like, I’m a terrible leader. But you know what? In my heart of hearts, or somewhere, I think I feel I could be a great leader. And I’m scared to challenge that. So, if I keep saying outwardly that I’m a terrible leader, and never lead, then inwardly I can maintain my belief that I could be great, and never really test that. I don’t know if that makes any sense at all. But yeah, it’s complicated like that.
So I guess what’s been challenging for me lately is getting rid of this deep down arrogant attitude I have. Just, going beyond doing things I know I can be good at and things I know I can’t be good at. Those are easy. It’s easy for me to play drums because I know I’ll be good, or play basketball because I know I’ll never be good. The hard part for me I think is dealing with that grey area, in stuff like leadership roles, where I want to think I could be great but the reality is probably that I’m just competent, if that. I know this sounds arrogant, but it’s humbling for me in a sense to accept that I can’t be really good at everything non-physical. But I think that’s my current challenge in life. Just, doing things I’m limited in.
This has a bunch of spiritual overtones also, maybe Experiencing God-esque, so yeah, it’s a spiritual thing also.
So yeah, dunno what my point is in writing this. Just, I dunno, arrogance is a serious problem of mine. Sorry for being boring.