Get a better mirror

Ready, Set, Done

10 minutes. You and your keyboard (or smartphone. Or tablet. Or pen and paper). No pauses, no edits, no looking back: it’s free-write time!

Warning: This is a rant. Like it says above, No edits, pauses and looking back, so please forgive the grammar and – heaven forbid – spelling mistakes.

I had a thought today.

Which is surprising considering my recent track record on the matter.

I was sitting at home watching YouTube videos and enjoying the nonsensical humor they had when I started turning more towards things like People are Awesome. I saw young, beautiful people doing amazing things with their bodies (no not those types of things. Get your mind out of the gutter.). They were doing back-flips with motorbikes, they were breathing fire, they were playing instruments with such fine tuned precision that I thought there were little cogs and wheels turning in their appendages in order for them to play so masterfully. I was in awe of their talent, of their natural born skill at anything they did. I watched a little boy do skate tricks that made my head spin, I saw a girl ten years my younger playing a guitar in ways that made my fingers ache. Old people flipping boxes and burgers, speedily going about their day with superb proficiency. An Asian woman flipped boxes of cards together faster than I could chase down a McDonald’s burger, a man in his 20’s becoming one of the world’s greatest word smiths and even a young man finishing orders for meals at record pace amazed and surprised me.

I sat back and thought: “Wow. These people are amazing. I wish I was that good at something.”

That’s when the thought came. Here I was again, watching other people being amazing instead of striving towards that same level of perfection. It’s easy to fall into a rut and watch other people soar above you and think that you’re not good enough. You are the frog in the well, watching the birds fly above you and wishing for wings. I do it too. It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized my mistake. Those people had dedicated years, even decades of their lives to perfecting what they did. They hadn’t picked up a drum stick or fingered a guitar or back-flipped over a car in just one go. A lot of the time, they didn’t even know what they were doing. It was their dedication to what they loved that made it possible for them to get so far.

We often look at other people and think that they are so much better than us, at least that’s my mind set on the matter. We see them shining brighter than we ever have and don’t even consider our own light. You can get so use to seeing other peoples worth that sometimes you forget your own. And that can kill your dreams.

These ten minutes are up. So let me leave you with a piece of advice, quoting from my favorite poet, Shane Koyczan:

“And if you can’t see something beautiful in yourself, then get a better mirror.”

4 thoughts on “Get a better mirror

  1. Wow, you read my mind! I’ve watched those same videos on YouTube and thought the same thing…I wished I could do what they were doing and be awesome at it…But I bet they’d look at me and say the same…Thanks for reminding me about that!!!


  2. I have the same thoughts, and feel the same way more often than not. The stories I read leave me wishing my writing was the same, the music I hear makes me wish my vocal and instrumental caliber was up to par. It’s easy to sit back and want, we just have to learn how to do.

    It’s something I’m slowly working towards. I hesitate to say that, because in reality I haven’t done much yet. That’s why I say slow. One day I’ll kick it into gear.

    Best of luck to you and your endeavors as well!


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