Is commitment the key to greatness?

Generally, when I think about myself and what I’m doing with my life, I like to think of myself as a pretty versatile person.  My interests are pretty varied, and I like to think that having versatility in my knowledge, talents and things I like to do is a good thing, and I still do think such holds to be true.

But at the same time, I don’t particularly think I’m necessarily the greatest at any one thing I do on a fairly regularly basis.  I work out every day, but I’m not massively muscular, chiseled or have unlimited stamina.  I play League of Legends on a fairly regular basis, but I’m not going really reach a level where I could become a professional or anything.  I make stuff for a living, but aside from the attempts to be humble about it, I know I’m not the greatest graphic designer on the planet.  I’m a pretty involved baseball fan, and still do a decent bit of baseball-related writing on a regular basis, but I’m not really going to get to a point where I could brog about baseball for a living, or make my own publications.

Long story short, I’m involved with several things, dabble in many, but I don’t necessarily think I’m truly great at anything in particular.  And sometimes I wonder if I want to be great at something, I need to fully commit to it, and give it my primary and majority attention and effort.

I read this story about a guy in New York who is a Mets fan, and was essentially being hailed as the unofficial leader of all Mets fans.  Mostly because he makes a bunch of clever and topical shirts about the Mets that don’t look like garbage, but his subsequent ability to bring Mets fans together, despite the fact that Mets fans are a fickle and often fairweather fanbase.  I did enjoy the story, and actually would consider purchasing a shirt from him, even if it is Mets-related which is contrary to my Braves fandom, but the story got me thinking, couldn’t this be me in Atlanta, for Braves fans?

I’m not going to lie, what sparked the thought process was the fact that he has essentially been estimated to have been worth $500,000 over the last calendar year based on the sale of essentially t-shirts.  But once the thought- ball started rolling, I surmised that I think I’m clever enough, or at least involved with a community that is clever enough to come up with topical and relevant things to make t-shirts.  Being a graphic designer, I could generate my own designs, and it’s essentially the shirt-making process that I would have to figure out; but there was little reason to believe that this wasn’t something that I could do.

But then I got to thinking; this is ALL this guy is doing with his life.  Sure, I’m sure he has a life outside of making independent apparel, but the fact is that aside from his obligations as an apparel maker, he’s still got to be pretty vested in the Mets primarily, so he can stay on top of the subject matter that his business is revolved around.  He has to be committed completely to the Mets, as well as his business.

That’s where my mind started to put the brakes on things.  Like if I wanted to be like this kind of guy, I would have to take the plunge and go all-in to this kind of endeavor.  I would have to leave my current job, and I would really have to pay attention to the Braves on a basis that is substantially more than what I do right now.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love the Braves and support them, but I’ll be the first to admit that my fandom has taken many steps back throughout the last two years, due to not wanting to be so involved, and the fact that I simply started to grow jaded with lots of other Braves fans.  These are things that I’d have to deviate from and jump back into the deep end if I really wanted this to work.  Granted, it was at my most involved times where I was getting paid to write some articles for publications and getting my name in the paper and in Sports Illustrated so I can’t really complain.

But the fact of the matter is that it’s because I can’t bring myself to really dive full-on into any one particular interest of mine that makes me wonder if that’s something holding me back.  Like if I dedicated myself into getting better at League of Legends, studied guides, other players, played constantly to try to better myself in all facets of the game, could I become a professional, and try and make an actual living from it?  If I fully committed to making costume-related crap, or highly-structured and regimented workouts, could I become great at either of those?  Or in the case of the example, if I dove head-first back into the world of Atlanta Braves fandom, could I potentially be something like the guy in New York, making shirts and organizing gatherings for a living?

It’s a little bit of food for thought for me lately, and it really makes me wonder if I have a fear of commitment, or perhaps I have a fear that I might get bored with the same thing day in and day out, which results in me wanting to have several different channels to change between.

But as it stands at this very moment, I think I’m a whole lot like the Red Mage class from Final Fantasy.  Okay at a little bit of various things, but maybe not the greatest at any one particular skill.  When I put it like that, it kind of feels like I’m wasting my life, because nobody really has fun late in Final Fantasy with red mages, because they can equip the best weapons and armor nor use the best white or black magic.

Hm.  Better stop this before I get depressed.

Leave a Reply