My new year’s resolution in 2012 is to suck at things (and also excel)

This is an odd resolution in a number of ways. First of all, you might say, isn’t the point of resolutions to be better at life, not suck at it? And how can you suck and excel at the same time?

As I get older, I find I am less inclined to do new things and tend to stick with what I do well. When I try new things, I suck at them, and I give up on doing them. I find it uncomfortable sucking at things at my age. Unlike my kids, I am self conscious and uncomfortable about doing poorly at things in public. I try them, I hope they will go well, and when they don’t, I put them away. When I was younger, I would rationalize this by thinking: I have work/kids/&c to contend with….I will get to that later. That rationalization is not working so well anymore. Futhermore, there are things that I would like/love to do, but I don’t.

The things I think I suck at but would love to do and do better at are filmmaking, drawing, painting, photography, programming and running (and fitness generally). All of those things I love and I would love to be able to do well, but I know if they take them up again, I will do them poorly. My resolution is to try to keep working on them all year, even when the outcome is terrible. If at the end of the year, I still suck, then I will reconsider if I am going to keep doing them. What I resolve not to do is give up right away.

I was planning only to focus on the things I suck at for my New Year’s Resolution, but there are alot of things that I do that I don’t suck at, but I would like to improve at doing or even excel in doing. Those things include being a dad, a cook (or bottlewasher!) or an IT architect/consultant.  I don’t want to just focus on the things that I suck at: I still want to improve on those areas, because they are most important to me.

I wrote it in the hope of (a) proding me to stick to this resolution and (b) inspire others to make unusual resolutions that would inspire others.

Thanks for reading this.






3 responses to “My new year’s resolution in 2012 is to suck at things (and also excel)

  1. Good for you! I’m not much of a resolution-maker, mostly due to laziness, but I understand your goal perfectly. “What I resolve not to do is give up right away.” That’s a valid mission: aspirational but realistic (the best resolutions are, I think).

    I find myself reluctant to pursue things I’m bad at, too, particularly when there’s so much else on my plate as a parent and full-time employee that I can honestly keep myself busy wearing those hats alone. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of growth and risking failure in order to learn something new or (even) to grow as a person.

    Happy New Year. 🙂

  2. Okay….I wasn’t going to respond to this post, but I just want to ask 1 question: By WHOSE standards do you “suck” at filmmaking, drawing, photography & running??? Didn’t you used to run in marathons?
    (Seems to me that people who run marathons, DON’T suck at it!)
    Also, I have seen many of your photographs & I don’t think they suck at all.
    One thing is certain….you ARE a fabulous dad, …cook, …IT manager, and especially, ….an excellent blog writer! ; )
    (There IS one thing that you DO suck at though….
    ….I’ll let YOU figure that one out. ; )