Heather Havrilesky @hhavrilesky Ask Polly columnist @TheCut, essayist, author of What If This Were Enough? (Oct 2018). Buy a copy!: t.co/nogPOM2J6n (illustration by Michael Sowa) Jan. 06, 2019 1 min read

You don't have to be good at everything.

Write down what you value. Resist the temptation to improve yourself in several ways at once, and focus on what you love and believe in instead.

Keep it simple: This is what I do. This is what I love. This is who I am. I don't need more than this.

Our culture bombards with shiny new ways to be better every few seconds. Learn to narrow your scope and focus on the imperfect folds of here and now.

Live like an artist and look for what is here. If you look and you discover disappointment, work with disappointment. If you find anger, work with anger. Build with what you have.

As a competitive person, my focus is attracted by things I can't do well and ways that I'm falling short. I have to work very hard, every day, to notice where I am and what I have.

It's a practice. I'm not always good at it. I try to have a sense of humor about what a nasty wretched volatile animal I am, because that animal is never going away.

But I don't have to be serene and admirable and wise. I don't even value that. I value people who show their rough edges and broken pieces.

The ego-driven illusions baked into most lifestyle brands keep us anxious about constantly "improving" while making us blind to our truest gifts. Your humble, mundane life is magical. Everything else is a mirage.

You can follow @hhavrilesky.


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