I want to be the best at something, and I don’t care what it is. I’ve struggled all my life, huffing and puffing and fighting for success. Trying. Have I achieved success? Yes, I have achieved success. But anyone can do that, because it’s totally subjective. The real question is, am I the best? No, I guess I’m not the best.
So I need to figure out something I can be the best at. Shouldn’t be hard, because the possibilities are infinite. Maybe I could be the best at recognizing what a person does for a living? I’m already great at that. I can tell that a dude with a tool belt probably is some sort of tool-maker, or that guy in the hard hat riding in the lift of one of those utility trucks and working on the power lines is most likely a thief or a website hackster. Woman delivering water? I can tell she’s a water rationer of some sort. Guy on the corner asking me for money? He’s obviously a banker or an IRS agent.
Or maybe I could be the best at counting things, or juggling, or computer science, or something else that requires basically no practice. It really doesn’t matter; I’ll take whatever. Name something, anything. Example: Avoiding cracks in the sidewalk. That’s something we’ve all probably done at one time or another, but somewhere out there is a person who’s the best at it. This is what I mean. It doesn’t have to be curing cancer or playing sports — there are an unlimited number of things to be the best at. Tying shoes. Eating an apple. Anticipating which way an ant will run. For every activity, there’s someone out there who is the best. Why can’t it be me? Cussing is a good one.
I know what you’re thinking: “This post better get good.” Also, you might be wondering how, for example, I might determine where I rank among everyone in the world in a discipline like shoe-tying. Interesting question. Hey, maybe you’re the best at making me feel bad about myself. Ever thought of that?
But you do have a point. For most things it would be impossible to determine who is the best. It’s a large world, and it’s full of people doing all sorts of random shit really well. Making tacos, closing the door quietly so as not to wake someone up, shouting “bingo” with the perfect level of excitement but without rubbing it in. The possibilities truly are limitless.
You can even be the best at negative things, like annoying people or messing everything up. Obviously that’s not ideal, but hey, at least you’re the best at something.
So now that I think about it, it’s probably hard not to be the best at one thing or another, and that’s all I wanted when I started this post. Problem solved.
That journey was not completely selfish, I hope you realize. Based on all this I’ve come up with Charley’s Law of Invisible Greatness, which proclaims that because there are an infinite number of things you can be the best at, you’re almost certainly the best at something, even if you never figure out what it is. Do yourself a favor and use it as an excuse to give up today.photo: Kyla Dawson-Harding