I am not motivated to try to be the best. It seems to me that maybe I can be good enough and happy if I can identify and follow the flow of the game.
I used to play table tennis for a little while. Just at school or with friends but rarely. While I was playing I had a natural instinct, like I was a hunter hunting the ball and defending, making sure I hit it at the proper angle so that it went back to the opponent's side. I was just playing rarely when given the opportunity and by pure instinct, without knowing any moves or how to hit properly the ball. I decided one day that maybe I should try table tennis lessons, so that I get more close to the real side of this sport and maybe a talent would unravel.
I kept playing for fun. I didn't want to get better. I wasn't moving my arm properly as it was instructed. We played with groups of people. It was fun. One asked me why I am not improving? Why do I keep defending and not making a directed attack or make the moves properly as instructed. I just didn't took it seriously. I realized that if I play with some friends who are not professionals then just playing with this instinct I have developed is enough to win. But this doesn't work with professionals of course. I like chasing the ball, I like having success in not letting it fall down, but it's just a lousy defense and I don't have a plan. At the same group I remember a girl who played in the same way as me.
We used to play Unreal Tournament together with friends. A friend sometimes tells me that when you play with a professional player then you lose the meaning, it feels meaningless to try anymore because you will never be so good as him unless you devote your whole life into this. There is also another effect because of this. When you play and you are losing so badly that it's pointless to continue, then you are affected and play worse. Best thing is to focus on the game and have fun, not thinking about the score.
I was curious about this thing affecting my real life. I see people who care about being the best too much. My life in their view would be like someone who is totally careless about his progress. I don't like to look this with such negativity though I have recently understood there is something different between me and specific persons. Maybe, some say in psychology, it's because I was the middle child. Additionally I don't think I was much encouraged to think high of myself. I am always feeling like the mediocre person or worse.
I am really not the same as the people I think about. Simple fact, if I really wanted to be the best, I would be fit, I would have a girlfriend from 18 or something, I would not take 8 years to finish the university, I would not almost screw again my master's degree and do a second year, I would even go for high marks or the perfect final project. I would have cured procrastination, I would have changed more things. If I wanted to be as perfect as some people want to be, I would put a gun in my head and say "If you screw again this time then you are dead". I would not take it lightly. I would not accept myself being so lame.
It's not bad. I don't want to put more negativity to myself. I just want to show you what I have realized, how different I am in some aspects from others. I want to show you that I would be an image of the worst nightmare for someone who cannot stand himself not being perfect. I want to show you the big difference and one of the reasons I don't seem to move on in some aspects of my life.
Though it's not that I am lame. The reality is that I am different. I am just not motivated by some goals. To tell you, something it's not that I don't like perfect things, in fact someone might have told me once that I was too perfectionist. There is one fact, sometimes I become a bit of perfectionist for things that I build, I want the stuff that I create to be good (no matter if I have released bad stuff), I dream for example of amazing demos or extremely optimized code and such stuff. I get crazy about some people who have achieved perfection through their works.
Maybe I am not as interested about the idea of me being a perfect being as for releasing some good works that reflect the better of myself. It seems that even my demo hobby for example was a way to show that, feeling mediocre with myself but creating something beautiful that people will watch and remember I did it. I always thought that I would afraid to go on the scene and play in a rock band for example because I'd have to not make mistakes. But with a demo, once you finish it and debug it, it remains always the same. It's a work of art that stays. People might never know the creator but he has left something that is even better than how he feels of himself.
It's an interesting idea. Anyway, there is also an objection to all the above. It says that the idea that I don't want to improve myself is a big false lie. I definitely want to improve myself. It's just that I don't find some things important. There are some parts of myself where I feel like I am improving. The spirit, the thought, the personality. Because they are interesting, because it's the game I like to play, to think about things, to analyze ideas, to understand my position in this world, to explain my problems, my worries, to know who I am and why things have come to this and even to seek for some mental improvement in places that can be practical too. I don't care about taking too high grades in the university, I almost don't care if I took more years to complete it, weight sometimes worries me because of my health but not looks, I don't need a girlfriend desperately (just to stop feeling uberlame?), I don't care about being a champion or the first in my job, making a carreer or feeling important. Sometimes I think I do care about these things or I am mislead to believe this is what I should seek, but the thing is that if I really cared then I would have a rich life and being succesful or finish the uni in time and have a good job and a clashy girlfriend or something.
When I naturally manage to play, to follow the game that attracts me, to fully enjoy creating things then it's a rare moment where things work. But usually I am either not doing the thing I feel like doing or flirting with the idea that maybe I could focus into becoming someone. But I don't have this and I will never have it.
I recently had the idea that I shouldn't worry about who I am and that playing with the things that I love I could reach success. I imagined some famous scientists or artists and I concluded that possibly many of them didn't thought about becoming a celebrity or getting a nobel prize or anything, they were just too fucking obsessed with what they were doing. Not that I care about becoming a famous person, it's just that I think that people obsessed only with the thought of becoming rich and famous don't usually achieve that.
I don't need to worry about being mediocre or not being perfect. I should just try finding the good flow where myself and things that I love come together and I just start creating things. Good things will come too.
Sometimes though the game is not yours. Sometimes you are forced to play another's game. So, just remember there are those times where you can still play your own games. Your free time and a clean mind.
p.s. Your job for example is a different game. You don't have full control. A personal creative project can be your own fully controlled game. Don't screw this up! Sometimes I felt restricted in my demoscene hobby because of thinking what people would think about my work. Big mistake! Some friends when they finish their job for the day and then have their whole day to play their own games, free time to be creative or just enjoy life, they instead feel miserable and don't do much stuff. I am trying to control this too.