Finding What You're Good At
Updated: Feb 5, 2021
Last night I was scanning through Netflix and found a movie I watched about 25 years ago, so I decided to watch it again.
It’s about this kid who falls in love with chess and gets involved in the high pressure situation of competitive chess, but he does other things and keeps a happy demeanor about himself. He loves baseball and fishing but just finds that he’s world class at chess. It brought back a bunch of old memories from when I was a kid, so not bad for a Netflix night.
The thing it reminded me was that I’ve never really been that good at anything my whole life. I kind of just kept moving on to the next thing.
At one point I really liked chess, I thought I was good. Then I went and played some people who were actually good and had no idea how bad I actually was.
Then it was cross word puzzles. I loved them. I used to zip through them. Then we did one in class and Danielle Zuccaro finished it in about half the time it took me to do it. Guess cross words just weren’t for me. Then baseball, sucked at that, loved the game though… soccer? Really sucked, hated the game actually. It’s cold outside, haha. Track? Too slow and didn’t see the point in running around a circle to just finish off at the same spot. But, my buddy Anthony Kerr ran so fast it was fun to watch.
Then came basketball. Permission form came in to sign up for Friday night basketball in grade 4. I got that thing signed up and sent back. Fell in love instantly. I was decent in elementary school too, lol, we had a couple good ones on the team. Then went to high school and 5 times the people showed up to school. Wasn’t good at school, making friends, any of it. But basketball I was still ok. Not a star but okay. But, I loved it. I was in the gym all the time, morning, night, before practice, after practice. The whole deal. Grinding to get minutes. I always got some, but never that many. The grind and rejection became something I got good at. I could find ways to keep going regardless of the outcome.
The harder it got the more I did it. I used to go lift weights at the rec center every day. Looking back at it, I really had no idea what I was doing, but none of us did back then. But, I loved the grind.
I tell this story because I think we are all good at something. It says that in the bible somewhere (I’m sure my brother will tell me exactly where it is when he reads this) but I think it’s true: sometimes it’s easier to figure out for others. For some people like myself it takes longer than others. I’ve concluded I have a decent ability to deal with turbulence and get over adversity and keep going. I think I’m a decent leader who can have some perspective.
I think the idea of just trying new things was fun. Searching for something that I could do with passion and conviction took a lot of failure. We don’t do well with failure in society right now, maybe more so then ever but it’s actually part of the game. IF we never fail we never get to find out what’s next and how to get there. Looking back at it, my brothers used to just get me to do a bunch of different things and kept me busy and my parents would sign me up for anything and everything. They did their best, and I’ll try my best with little Eli - who knows what he will be good at. For now he’s pretty good at taking pictures and smiling. I guess we can work on the rest.