It's a struggle. A balance really. Each time sacrificing something in order to achieve something else. Most often it's time, but that is only the high level obstacle. It's the foresight into how much time it would take to achieve the ideal. It's the choices taken along the path to the ideal that makes the goal more and more obtainable.
It's knowing what sacrifices are reasonable to take. The ones that allow you to push still closer to the ideal, but at the same time make the goal obtainable.
I wonder how to know when something is great. Perhaps, if your asking, you're not there. Good. Good is easy. It's that extra effort, that extra insight, that pushes something from good closer to great.
When is something great? Not when you find yourself reluctant to share it. At the same time, however, keeping something locked away from the world may keep it from judgement, but also from knowing greatness, or allowing you to discover a previously unseen path. A step, that moves you further down the continuum toward greatness.
Why, when good is good enough, should you struggle on toward greatness? I guess it all depends on the end goal you seek.
Mark Maron mentioned the Woody Allen quote, "80 percent of life is showing up". It stuck with me much of this year. Here's a bit more detail:
"I made the statement years ago which is often quoted that 80 percent of life is showing up. People used to always say to me that they wanted to write a play, they wanted to write a movie, they wanted to write a novel, and the couple of people that did it were 80 percent of the way to having something happen. All the other people struck out without ever getting that pack. They couldn’t do it, that’s why they don’t accomplish a thing, they don’t do the thing, so once you do it, if you actually write your film script, or write your novel, you are more than half way towards something good happening. So that I was say my biggest life lesson that has worked. All others have failed me." -- Woody Allen
There is a saying among jazz musicians:
"If you're not the worst musician in your band, you should immediately switch bands."
Lots of questions this year. Should I stay or should I go? Is there something left to learn? I have the room to learn on my own, but I've realized that, that alone is not enough. There needs to be a shared purpose, a goal, to strive for. Left in limbo with no clear direction is something to be avoided.
As humans we live our lives through stories. The stories we tell ourselves, and the stories we tell the world. Stories drive our interactions, and are key to communication. In order to express your thoughts and ideas to the world clearly, storytelling is an important skill to have.
There is a depth to everything. Something, an interest, can spiral away forever and can never fully be 'known'. At some point you need to make a decision how deep you want to go.
In our world, the majority of experiences we have and things we interact with are man-made. This means that someone made a decision to place that bolt there. There is a reason behind everything, but sometimes that reason isn't very good. Question those reasons, and continue searching for better.
Diversity is what makes us great. It allows new insights and approaches to questions that can't be reached alone. We are limited in time by what we can experience. It is a benefit that others have had a different path to "now". Our experiences are shared, and combined lives enriched as a result.
Doing, even once, makes it easier the next time. That novel? It can only be written by putting words down. One more word puts you that much closer to the end. It is the not doing that keeps you from progressing. Progress requires motion. action. Without it your not going anywhere.
You determine your normal. Conscience, or not you make decisions daily that determine, and continually redefine, what your normal is. Realize this is a choice, and make a good one.
Culture is something that together we create. It does not exist without people. Your actions define your culture. If you want the culture to change, start with yourself. Be the person of the culture you desire.
Clearly understand your goals. Work toward those goals. When you get lost, ask yourself, does this get me closer?
Always know that you may be wrong.