Life and Stuff: Why it’s OK to be OK

why-its-ok-to-be-okI have read a lot of motivational books that encourage you to be the best you can be.

I can dig that. I’m no slouch.

But here’s the thing: since when did everyone have to be the ‘best’ at everything? Can’t we just try to be OK?

There are lots of things that I would love to be the best at but I simply don’t have the skill, talent or perseverance required to make the Top 1000, let alone Number One.

I watched an Australian Story on the weekend about a young tennis star named Jade Hopper who, at the age of 10, was earmarked to become the best female player in the world. Fast forward nine years on the international circuit and she’s out of the running for Top Seed. It has nothing to with her game (which is impeccable); it all came down to her body. She simply isn’t strong enough to compete against the bigger girls.

This girl dedicated 15 years of her life to being the best and, by all accounts, would have gotten there if it weren’t for her petite build.

She spoke about the loneliness of the tour, the physical torture of training and the enormous social sacrifices she has made in her quest to be Number One. This story echoes that of multiple grand slam winner Andre Agassi who, in his recent autobiography Open, recounts how he actually hated tennis.

He was the best player in the world.

My questions is: Is your life really that much better if you’re the best at something? Wouldn’t it be better to live without all that pressure and performance anxiety?

Surely there is satisfaction to be found in merely being good? Or even just OK?

7 comments on “Life and Stuff: Why it’s OK to be OK

  1. Like millions of other people around the world, I like Oprah’s approach to it all: “Live your best life”. You’re not competing with anyone, but just doing what you can with what you’ve got. Oh Oprah, you’re so wise…

  2. Dunno much about Oz culture, but in America you’re automatically a slacker if you’re not striving to do your best. It’s been drilled into our DNA. :((

  3. Hey doll, that pumpkin picture gave me a big smile.
    I read a recipe for happiness today (based on a study by Success magazine!), and one of the funnier ingredients (as in, surprising), was 5 home-cooked meals per week.
    Simple pleasures, me thinks = happy.

    Although I wouldn’t mind ticking off ‘business class upgrade’ off the bucket list!
    And some of us are just high achievers. What a paradox – people look up to and admire the high achievers only to not see that the high achievers are ‘never there’ in there own minds…oh philosophy…

  4. A worked for a wise old man a long time ago who said, “Maureen, a job worth doing is just that, worth doing. Get it done and move on to something you love. You don’t have to be great at everything but everything has to get done.”

    I’ve kept that idea throughout my life. So I don’t care if the forks are neatly in the drawer – they’re clean and that’s good enough for me. Same thing with everything else I do.

  5. My darling cat died last week, and he taught me how easy it is to be in the world if we don’t strive but live simply. I’m not suggesting we all just lie around in the sun all day and let someone else feed and shelter us (though at times I have wanted all that and no more) but he gave so much just by being who he is, not trying to be anything else, just being fully here and with whoever he was with. Just like a tree. This blog reminded me that my school’s motto was “strive for the highest” – is it any wonder so many of us are messed-up perfectionists?! At the moment I’m striving to keep life simple!?

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