So I saw this mind-blowing video on kottke, who correctly notes that it gets insane at 3:00 and even moreso at 5:00 (when the pieces turn invisible and the dude keeps playing). Try to imagine being that good at anything. I can't.
This year's been really good for me, especially in the realm of self-awareness. I've been asking "What am I really good at? What kind of role will I do best in? Basically, what am I made to do?"
What I've realized over the past year is that I'm not the best at anything. I'm not bad, though... I'm solid in lots of areas. But for every single thing I'm good at, I know half a dozen people who are better at it than me.
There's really only one place where I'm phenomenal, and it's this:
I am always all in.
I'm not the best engineer, writer, project manager, teacher, mentor, planner, recruiter, or student. But in the past 3 years I've done well in every one of those roles because I've gone forward as hard as I can at whatever's in front of me.
It wasn't always this way. I spent my first two decades never trying hard at anything, so that I had a built-in excuse for not succeeding. "Well, I maybe I didn't (win the game/get the grade/learn the instrument/get the job) but that's just because I was only playing around. If I really tried hard I could have done it."
And then I realized that was lame. And I didn't want to be that guy. So over the past eleven years, I've tried hard to learn how to be totally invested in whatever I'm doing. And it's really been worthwhile. I haven't always had more success, but I've had a lot more fun.
My goal for the next ten years? While there might always be somebody better than me at whatever I'm doing, I'll never be outworked again.