William A. Clark via Compfight
Sometimes, I fail at taking my ideas from the abstract and conceptual to the concrete and material.
Take vlogging, for instance. I recently had this idea to try to put up a monthly video on this blog. However, I’m ditching that endeavor in favour of what I already know I can do: write a blog post each week.
Lately, this blog hasn’t been getting updated because I’ve been freaking out about getting a video of my New York City trip edited and uploaded. Therefore, I have neither a video nor a weekly post. See, I really don’t know anything about vlogging. Like most people of my age, I spend a lot of time on Youtube, admiring the creativity and humour of the many talented vloggers that regularly post videos. I appreciate a well-produced video when I see one. I particularly love the Vlogbrother’s style of travel video “Thoughts from Places”. That was the basic concept for my video on NYC. I took a LOT of video clips while I was there, thinking that I could stitch them together and then do a voice-over narration.
Unfortunately, I know nothing about what constitutes a good editing program. I downloaded a simple free one and got to work. It was just a free trial, which I didn’t think would be a big deal. The program didn’t specify what features would no longer be available after the trial ended.
Fast forward two weeks later to tonight. I open the program and a notification pops up saying that my trial has expired. I click “Ok”, not thinking much of it. The program opens, and the “projects” folder is empty.
Zip. Zilch. Nada.
The first thing that happened was a slightly stunned search for “NYC in 4.vip”. Then another search. Nothing.
The second thing that happened was that I got a sudden headache above my right eyebrow.
A Facebook rant was posted and several ice cream sandwiches were eaten. I listened to “How” by Regina Spektor.
Then I got to thinking about failure and expectations. Why do we feel that we have to succeed at everything that we do? How is it that we expect ourselves to be able to achieve anything that we set our minds to if only we try hard enough or have enough determination or just keep practicing? I understand that there are thousands of inspirational stories of people who overcome incredible odds and are able to walk again after a terrible accident or somehow compose some of the world’s finest music after going doing deaf. I’m talking about telling our kids that they can be anything that want to be if they only work hard enough.
The fact of the matter is that we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Most likely, you will never fully overcome your weaknesses, because no one is perfect. You can’t be good at everything. Maybe you’re extremely tech-savvy and hope to someday create that next great app for iPhone. If you were offered a singing gig, that might not be how you want to spend your day off. You’re not a failure for not being a good singer. Your strengths just lie in a different field.
What would this world be like if everyone focused on their own true strengths? Besides eliminating half of American Idol‘s and So You Think You Can Dance‘s footage, I feel like that so many people would be more productive and content if they were doing the things they were good at and offering their services to the world.
Now, there’s always the danger of taking this idea to the other extreme. I love to try new things. If you don’t try something, how will you know whether or not it’s own of your strengths? Alternatively, you don’t have to be good at something to enjoy it. I love to sing at the top of my lungs when I’m alone. I know that I sound nothing like Regina Spektor, but it doesn’t stop me from singing along and having a great time. I’m just saying that I’m not planning on auditioning for The Voice.
So there you have it: My advice for being happier and more productive is to focus on your strengths and don’t put yourself down for the things that you think that you should be better at.
Over the next few weeks, I will be posting a series entitled “NYC in 4″, detailing the confusing simplicity that is New York City and how I discovered that I am actually not a very social person. I’m so grateful that I did get a few really great pictures while I was there, and not just video clips.
Disclaimer: I am going to start on the video again eventually, I’m just going to re-write the script and be a little less ambitious with the special effects and editing. I have learned that I am not a vlogger.