Good At

It’s tough to observe yourself being objectively good at something from the inside.

Some things are binary – if you try to chop down a tree, it either comes down or it doesn’t. In that case, it doesn’t really make sense to say you’re “good at chopping down trees” just because it came down – because everyone who brings down a tree is therefore “good” at it, and “good” is by nature a relative measure.

So already, in order to be good at something, it needs to have a sliding scale of success. But in addition, that success has to be observable in some way. I could say I’m really good at imagining what apples look like, but how could anyone know that?

To be “good at” something, it has to have an effect on the world. That could mean it’s measurable, but it might not be. Am I good at writing? What does it even mean to be “good at” writing?

It could mean that it persuades people to a certain point – shifts their opinions, entices them to buy something, etc. But I’m not really trying to do that here, so I can’t really measure that. I’m not selling anything on this blog (though feel free to send me money if you like), and I’m pointedly not concerned with whether or not you agree with my thoughts here.

It could mean that people enjoyed reading it, but people enjoy reading a lot of stuff that’s bad. Or do they? Is the fact that someone enjoys it the only real measure of whether or not something is “good?”

Some people have recently told me that they enjoyed reading something I wrote; that it made them feel good or boosted their confidence.

That’s worth doing this whether I’m good at it or not. I hope your day is a little brighter, my friend. I hope you share what you’re good at.

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