In order to do something meaningful, you have to have an aim, and in order to strike your target, you have to believe that you can hit it enough to try. So, what do you think you’re truly capable of?
There is magnificence to be found at the heart of everything meaningful. The phrase, “what you’re capable of” doesn’t just refer to lofty career goals. Your own goals and greatness are often best applied in even the smallest of ways, but I feel like you have to be thinking about it. You have to be aiming. You should set your aim even in the most menial aspects of your life. How well do you think you can live? Do you think it’s unreasonable to aim high? To expect greatness in every area of your life?
Are you as great as you could be? And more importantly, do you think you have a responsibility to chase that?
How do you stay focused? How do you hold yourself accountable, on a daily basis to be someone you’re proud of? These are things I think about. I can’t speak for anyone else, but by simply deciding that it is my responsibility to chase these things, I can’t say I’ve ever been happier.
Often, you hear great athletes and achievers speak of “obsession.” They point to this word more often than others when trying to explain the reason for their success. But it’s not just about games, that word applies to every aspect of your life.
At the heart of obsession is focus, and that’s where I think many people (including myself) get lost. Because to achieve something of value, you have to focus. You can’t try to do everything and be everything at once. You have to look at your life, optimize it, and orient it towards your goals. To truly be great at something, you have to practice it a lot. Everyone knows that, but think about your life and ask yourself, “what do I want to be truly great at?” You can’t have it all. You have to distill your ambitions down to what’s most important. You can’t focus on seven different aims at once. I think our minds can only handle three or four at a time.
The human brain can make a finite amount of decisions each day before it stops operating efficiently. You can only process so much, you can only work it so hard. Successfully reaching your goals has more to do with budgeting energy and brain power than anything else. You have to expend your best self on what’s most important to you.
I’ve been fighting this lately, so I guess that’s why I’m thinking about it. I’m trying to be an aspiring writer, a straight A student, a fitness enthusiast, a good boyfriend, a son who visits his parents, a good friend, to lose weight, to read a book a week, to keep my house clean, to put in over time at work, and still for some reason thinking I can have time to myself too, along with all my other interests and hobbies.
Now, it’s not that I’m saying I have too much, but I am saying that with so many hands in so many baskets, it’s growing ever harder to focus. It’s harder to be proud of one thing, because with each aspect of life that pulls you away from another, one of them suffers.
If I was smart, I would break down my routine to focus on three or four things, just like I said. My priorities should be school, work, relationship, family. Everything else should be peripheral until this semester ends. So, I guess I should take my own advice, but it’s hard. Especially when what you have to do doesn’t align with what you enjoy the most, or what’s fulfilling.
What I need is obsession. Not for all things, but for a few things. It’s what we all need. It can be a career, a passion project, a lifestyle or philosophy. But we need to focus. Because being so-so just isn’t enough. It’ll never be enough for you.
It starts with a seed. The seed is your initiative to seek what you’re capable of – to believe that you’re capable of something magnificent, and focus your life around that. Choose the three or four things that are most important, and devote yourself to making them the best they can be.