The Lost Potential of A Little Bit Good

Sometimes, I get home from work, think about all of the things I’ve once done beyond the 9-5, and wonder why I’m not doing them anymore. Why am I not writing songs like the voracious animal I was a year ago? Why am I no longer a freelance writer? Why did I stop posting on this blog frequently?

And that’s just the beginning of it. There’s also:

  • the book I never finished (it would’ve been great, I still believe)
  • the pictures I stopped taking
  • the race training that faded
  • the drawings I stopped creating
  • the startup business that didn’t start..

unfinished book

There are cliche sayings that I can apply to all of these shortcomings. I’m a quitter. I don’t want it bad enough. I don’t follow through. Sometimes I think to myself: I wish I was really good, really, really, talented, at just one thing. Because then it would be easy. That’s what I would do, there would be no questions about doing anything else. I wouldn’t start a in new direction. I would simply excel in my one niche and never look back. I would be the BEST potato farmer you ever met, or the GREATEST songwriter you’ve ever imagined.

But that’s just not how it is. I’ve classified myself as “a little bit good” at a range of things (I think I’ve been telling myself that since junior high school I think). So I try them all, and then when I think I’ve reached my “little bit” full potential, I stop. And what a pity, isn’t it? If we all thought that our potential at a new endeavor was “just a little good”, we’d be living in a world with only half-planted potato farms (potato famine?…nah), unfinished songs, very very short books… and 5,090,230,122,426,999,999,999 “eh” ideas that just stayed locked up in people’s heads.

The next question I should ask myself is, how do I measure this “little bit of potential”? And how have I determined once I’ve filled it? It must be an external comparison. Because compared to myself, each stride and each creation is like nothing I’ve ever done before. I should break my “little bit” mindset, and find a new scale by which to measure. And then maybe the passions will keep burning.


7 responses to “The Lost Potential of A Little Bit Good

  1. The whole American notion of having to be #1 doesn’t mean too much to me. All I want to be is the best Dr. B I can be, and that’s good enough for me.

    Dr. B

  2. whoa whoa whoa, WAIT!

    1. who determines what talented means?
    2. who says you’ve gotta be awesome at everything?
    3. and if you’re not awesome, what’s so bad about doing something that you truly enjoy regardless of the fact that you may not be the “best” at it?!

    i don’t like this self-doubt business. it’s your blog and honesty is appreciated, but you’re stuff is legit entertaining so what’s this about? me no likes, mel. i’m also sure your pictures and book-beginnings were/are good. so get back at it, ya hear?!

  3. you’re? your! and by entertaining i mean fun and interesting to read. word.

    • Are yuou yelling?!!? Haha. Hmm I guess one could say it’s self doubt? I just thought it was an interesting way that I realized I was thinking, but you mayyyy be right. Look out for a counter post to this post!

      And, you’re awesome.

  4. amandasperspective

    That happens to me all the time. I get really excited about a project or something new I’m doing and I want to do it all the time and motivation is high and passion runs rapid, but then sometimes I just hit a wall and it’s either not as exciting anymore or maybe I’ve just run out of steam for the time being. I think you make time for the things that are important to you when they are important, and if you fall off a little bit, it just means at that moment it’s not THE THING that’s keeping you going. It doesn’t lessen your potential as a person, it’s just a phase you go through – not everyone is motivated 100% of the time, otherwise we’d all burn out by the time we’re 25…oh, wait!

    p.s. I still say write away with the songs because they make me smile inside! (when you feel up to it!)

  5. I don’t think you (or anyone else) should be discouraged by failing to finish what you started. I think it says just as much, or more, about your ability to try/experience everything. Most people wouldn’t even try to start a business, or write a book, or keep up with their highly successful and well-trafficked blog (eh?). Ok. That’s enough.

    /end overly-positive comment

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