What are you winning at in life? This is the question I think we need to ask ourselves about our lives more often — what are we doing well and how could we do it even better? As born complainers, we like to focus on whatever we see as the negative parts of our lives, forgetting about the good stuff: the little things that keep us going and get us out of bed every morning; the things that, when combined, make up our reason for living; or perhaps the things that catch us by surprised and bring smiles to our faces when we need them most. I guess the question here is how do we switch the focus so that we’re living the best lives that we possibly can? How do we get the blinders off to see all the things our lives truly have to offer rather than the myopic views we tend to obsess over? In the words of a certain sportswear giant:

“Just do it.”

Life gives us all different sets of skills, and it’s up to us how we decide to use them. I’ve always been a bit of a Jack-of-all-trades, always dabbling with a handful of interest and side projects, but never really mastering anything in particular. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t try to work at developing every one of them as much as I can! It’s fear that causes us to shy away from our dreams or from doing anything with our abilities. We see people who’re way farther ahead at the things we want to do and get discouraged. We see those far more skilled at our hobbies than we are, convincing ourselves that we’ll never get to that level. But more often than not, those people started from the very point you’re at now, with nothing, having yet to prove themselves to the world. I’ve applied this kind of thinking to live over and over, with varying degrees of success. Recent examples saw me…

  • …put together a video for a Manpacks-sponsored contest, where I goofily rapped about the products they offered but in the end won me a $900 gift certificate for their service
  • …be a guest host on a friend’s Internet radio show, ending up in what I regard as one of the funniest episodes of the show yet (not safe for work!):

Now, the rap had bits that were off-tempo and could’ve used more polished instrumentation. My radio voice needs work and I speak really quickly or mumble at times. And my photography skills are nowhere yet near where I’d like them to be. But by doing things like these, you can visibly see that I’m working at it, trying to improve my skills enough to be great at the things I want to do, taking further control of my destiny. Basically, the lesson here is this: YOU NEED TO BE WILLING TO PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE AND KEEP TRYING UNTIL YOU GET IT RIGHT. The Internet changed the world that we live in by expanding the boundaries of our knowledge. We’re no longer trying to compete with the peers in our classrooms, offices or neighbourhoods alone — you might be the best in your neighbourhood, or even in your city, but the Internet has opened up a whole world of competition for people who do what you do! However. The reality we’re faced with is not meant to discourage you from trying — it’s meant to make you try HARDER. So each time you fail, dust yourself off and try again. Stop telling yourself that you’re not good enough or getting dismayed when things don’t exactly go to plan. Work at it. Get better. And eventually — hey. You just might get it right, after all.

–case p.

Author: Casey E. Palmer

Calling the Great White North his home, Casey‘s spent the last few decades in pursuit of creating killer content. From novels as a kid, comics as a teen, to blogs and photos once he could grow a beard, he’ll use whatever’s around him to create amazing stuff. When he’s not creating, he’s parenting, exploring and trying to make life as awesome as possible for everyone around him. Because a boring life’s not a life worth living!

6 thoughts on “Winning”

  1. Love this man! Inspiration with a purpose. There are so many resources out there to help you grow and help you develop your passions and hobbies. Learn from all those you meet, but don’t focus on them; ultimately focus on yourself. That helps avoid discouragement. Keep trying and keep working, and soon there will be people envious of YOUR growth. The beautiful thing is that growth isn’t a zero-sum game. Everyone can grow and get better. Your message is right on point. Everyone started with nothing. Even the most successful people can look back on their lives and remember when they were lost and confused. Then they decided to do something and became who they are. Everyday you have the potential to get better, let’s not let it go to waste!

    1. Thanks for your input, @PavelNovel:disqus 🙂 You’re right in that you need to keep at it constantly and that truly, you are responsible for your OWN growth. I can see areas where I’m far better at things now than I would’ve been in years past — and others where I wish I was better and am working at improving. I never look upon others with envy, but instead try to figure out what I need to change in what I’M doing to be even BETTER at achieving my goals 🙂

      I’m hoping that a ton of people can learn from this, better themselves, and help to add to a wealth of resources to help improve the world around us (both digital and physical).

  2. So true that we need to be willing to put our selves out there! It’s so hard to do when we feel that we are being judged, but we always have to keep in mine that those that we think are judging us “weren’t until they were”… they started from the same places we did with the same vulnerabilities to self doubt. They weren’t there until they arrived, but they stayed on the journey. We need to keep moving too. Glad to have connected with you at #AWEtalk !

    1. Thank you so much for coming to visit my blog 🙂

      My goal for the immediate future is to work even harder on the things I’ve tinkered away at for quite some time now, and to find a way to eventually get it all as polished as I’ve wanted to for ages and ages. Taking joy in the small victories helps to carry me along that path!

      Hopefully we can keep in touch on Twitter! All the best 😀

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