I understand why the image above matters to so many people, why the expression is thrown around by those who want to help others gain a notion of individual self worth. It is often all you need to do, just to be yourself. Except as time has gone on for me, this expression has begun to ring hollow. Not because I don’t grasp I am Enough. I now understand that, at least for me, Enough is not Enough.
If you want to change and improve, and Enough is your starting benchmark? You can be Better.
If gaming has taught me anything over the years, it is that you are your own greatest enemy. If a player embraces what is asked of them, the obsessive desire to complete and ‘win’ can become all-consuming. There is a very fine line between competition and obsession too, and what the new generation of activity trackers and online ‘experiences’ for fitness shows is that the moment you place people in the context of their peers? Competition happens, whether you like it or not. For me, in Zwift for instance, my lovely flat roads ‘option’ still present the opportunity to ‘sprint’ once a lap. No, I’m not bothered about competing with other people but, as you can see, beating myself is not only possible but becoming an obsession. It’s knowing how much I’m capable of and then having that translated into real time facts and figures. The obsession with statistics in sports is founded on a very understandable and functional foundation. Maths doesn’t lie. There is only one answer, and that’s I’m only cheating myself if I ‘glitch’ the Zwift system or lie about my progression.
All these numbers show that I am the arbiter of my own destiny, and no-one else.
That day I missed did more for my mental well-being than any of those green bars would ever achieve, and that’s when I know I’m not a professional athlete or totally obsessed with this goal. When all is said and done, the push to try harder and be fitter isn’t just restricted to my body either: however, I can’t easily create stats for my mind. There is no Fitbit for providing a benchmark for mental well-being. Except, it occurred to me walking back from the Gym today, there are ways and means to accomplish this, and so starting today I have a notebook and pencil by my desk and I’ll be keeping some mental scores in the weeks that follow, just to see if I can make an impression on the areas of my life that require effort. I’m also not being nearly strict enough in keeping score of the food I intake in terms of calories, and that too will be addressed.
I think not enough people grasp that it isn’t somebody else’s job to motivate them 24/7. There comes a point where you need to take the initiative for yourself, and use your own desires to change the agenda. I watch gamers bemoan how there’s ‘nothing to do’ in their favourite MMO and realise that what that really means is ‘there’s nothing I want to do.’ Being a motivator is all well and good, but self-motivation is an entirely different ball game. Better is hard work, and often painful, and inevitably there can be consequences. If you can trust yourself? You may yet be amazed at what is possible, if you readjust your outlook.
I’m enjoying trying to be Better. I can do so much better than this too, and I will.