“A man has two …

“A man has two choices when he breaks. He can either remedy his weakness or allow external circumstances to collapse in on that vulnerability.”

-Anonymous

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The “Problem” of Achievement

There’s this kind of “problem” that has been brought up to me a few times already. It’s the “problem” of achievement. It’s the “problem” of going out of your way constantly to achieve higher things, to improve yourself. Some people think that this constant hunger for achievement is ridiculous because in the end, one can never be good enough. Well, there is an element of truth to that—one can never really be good enough.

But, heck, is that really a solid justification for simply giving up? To give up on a possible life of adventure, to surrender to stagnation? I say nay. I think that that’s even more ridiculous. It’s even more so when you don’t aim to improve in the field that you love to be in most. From personal experience, I find that obtaining higher levels in fields of interest means that I get to have even more fun in those fields.

Swimming, for example, is a sport that I just started to do competitively this year. I never had any real formal training beforehand, so I had to learn quite a bit to get to where I am now. Am I even remotely satisfied? No, my butterfly stroke is in desperate need of improvement. However, I got from the point of half-drowning while I do the stroke to a stroke that’s a little more fun to do but still lacks the proper rhythm and smooth movement that’s needed to make me a competitive swimmer in butterfly. I will thus aim for a higher form of the stroke and continue on from there.

Additionally, when you’re good enough that other people will acknowledge your skill, it gets pretty fun. I can only imagine how people must feel when they’re associated with legends, whether they’re an Olympic athlete or a rock god. If I got into any kind of hall of fame that would establish my legacy and show my image as one of greatness, I’d drop enough bricks to make a house. Seriously. Of course, there’s a point where you have to stay grounded and not think that you’re “all that,” but there’s a lot of joy to be had when people go out of their way to recognize you. That kind of enjoyment is a feeling that’s worth going after. That kind of energy makes life worth living, I think. We all know that we’re going to wither away eventually, so I think we should make the most out of being a prime, capable human being.

So after you achieve something that gives you that kind of energy, why not do it all over again, to reach a new height that excites you? People must think too much of how painful the journey is to get to another destination, which could possibly explain this interesting mentality of not thinking there’s a point to relentlessly chasing after new heights. That journey is so exciting though; to think about how you’ve progressed in obtaining something new. I don’t understand why anybody would give up that kind of opportunity to travel, to see new heights. Sure, there’s pain that will probably be a major part of the voyage, but pain is everywhere. Just remember that on the way, there are sights to be seen, friends to be made, and skills to be sharpened.