Decide to be great

There are moments in our lives that define us. Decisive points that can make a big difference in the direction we take in life. But life is just a series of decisions. Most of the time these are little decisions like what to wear for the day. And sometimes we have big decisions to make, like who to marry.

We should always try to make our decisions as not to regret them, ever. But depending on the weight of the decision, there's a corresponding time and effort that we must dedicate to making it. Nevertheless, once we've decided on something, we must never go back, never question ourselves again, what's decided it's decided[1].

So everything is a decision. We decide how to behave. We decide to listen or not listen to our parents, to respect them, to go by their rules. We decide what career to take, what studies to follow, what topics to take interest on.

We also decide if we want to be great at something. Say you like guitar, and you want to learn to play it. You can try watching a few video lessons, taking a few courses, and pretty soon you can be learning a couple of easy songs. You feel great, you're playing guitar! Then you listen to a Guns N' Roses song, and you think to yourself, "man, it would be awesome to be able to play like Slash!" So you give it a go, and try to learn Sweet Child O' Mine. You struggle a bit, but you manage to get the intro right, and learn the cords, and then you're singing along with Axl. But then comes the solo. You practice a bit, but you don't seem to get it. So you have a decision to make, do you want to spend more time trying to learn the solo? Or would you rather do something else instead?

We face these sort of decisions all the time. We have hobbies, interests, and things we like to do. But somewhere along the way we realize that in order to improve further, we need to consciously make a little more effort than before, and have the discipline to deliberately practice and get better, get to the next level (even if you're not that far ahead). So it's up to you to decide what you want to be great at. Maybe you're somewhat good at a lot of things, but you want to be great at a few things, or you want to be excellent at one single thing. It's all your decision.

There have been a few times in my life that I've had to make this decision, and I've made the wrong one. I've decided not to be great, not to push through, and I've been left in the road. As I look back now, I think this happens because of a lack of confidence, that I don't really think I could be great, so I sabotage myself, and fail on purpose. I don't think this is uncommon.

Maybe you've made this mistake already, or maybe you're still going to make it, even after reading this. I'm probably still doing it, to some extent. But you should really try to avoid it.

So if you ever find yourself in this position, just make sure you know it's just a decision, and if you decide to be great, you will. Be aware of this, and you have a better chance of not making this mistake, and not regretting anything.


[1] Although there are nuances to this, since not every decision is equally flexible, and sometimes we can decide something, knowing that it wouldn't be difficult to change our decision later.