Saturday 11 November 2017

#309 Being bad at being good at things

Everyone's good at something. Good at one or more things. Almost everything in the universe is unevenly distributed, so whatever ways in which you spend your time, you'll be better at something than most other people, without even trying. It's like an inherent part of being alive.

But not everyone is good at being good at the things they're good at. Without proper patience and training. Without education and effort, recognition, reward, resilience and relaxation, a person can be good at something and waste their talent. Because they're bad at being good at things.

When a person is good at being good at things, it almost doesn't matter what they're good at. They might be good at one thing for a few years and then switch to being good at something else. Then, to make sense of their profound good fortune, they'll look for a pattern and lump all their achievements under a convenient label which describes that pattern, so they can explain their success at cocktail parties in as few words as possible.

People who are bad at being good at things hate cocktail parties. They'd rather drink something sensible and can't fathom how combining fruit and liquor in so many complicated ways is justifiable. Surely noone's efforts are worth such extravagance?

People who are good at being bad at things aren't any better off. Pitied by many and aided by few, they bravely solider their way through situations that you and I find easy, supported by subsidies, benefits and sympathy. It's a hard and unenviable life.

People who are bad at being bad at things might turn out to be quite good at some of them. However, they might just be average. Average is ok. It means they're unlikely to win any awards but necessity will require they maintain a certain basic standard, so as not to jeopardise their average prospects.

Unless they're bad at being bad at being bad at things.