The Small Difference Between Being Good and Getting Better
We all have to start somewhere
A bonis ad meliora.
No, it’s not one of those quotes in a different language that’s comically misinterpreted. It doesn’t mean something like dirty toilet water if you were to type it into Google Translate (though it’d be funny if someone were to point out that I’m completely wrong and the translation does mean something like that).
I came across the phrase a bonis ad meliora a while back when I was searching for “deep” quotes that were in Latin (don’t judge me, I was looking for my next potential tattoo. And before you ask, no I did not get this phrase tattooed on me nor am I planning to now that I’ve made this post). Honestly, a lot of words and phrases sound better and more cultivated in Latin (not mention it is the basis for a good fraction of the vocabulary we use to this day).
It translates to “from good to better”
Whenever I see it, it strikes a chord in my metaphorical internal guitar that plays melodies that’s in tune with my current state of life. It gives me some sort of optimism and makes me think, where I’m at now is all because of what I’ve done.
With a glass-half-full mentality, the only difference between the unfavorable situation you’re currently in and where you aspire to be is that small gap.
That gap from here to here. From good to better.
See the word “to” in between good and better?
That’s the gap. See how small it is? It’s all within arms reach. It can all be done.
I relate all of what I’m trying to say to any endeavors that we willingly put ourselves through, whether we’re forcing ourselves for the betterment of ourselves in general, or because we just plain damn want to.
Working a demanding full-time job while still in college and taking care of your late grandmother’s fifteen year old disabled cat? Dieting and exercising a month and a half before that scheduled yacht rental at Boca Raton? Attempting to chug down a whole bottle of Jack without vomiting less than a quarter through? It can be whatever.
You’ve already established the fact that you want to succeed, which puts you in the position to become better. You can only hone your existing skills or be completely open to learning what will help you reach your goals.
If you start out with “I can do this and I will be good,” it’ll only escalate to “I’ve gotten good and I can only get better from here.”
Anybody can start something but not everybody finishes. Anybody can do anything but not everybody will be successful.
On the other hand, of course, it doesn’t always start out the way you envisioned it in your head. To be frank, it never really does.
What’s the absolute hardest to keep up in every journey is consistency in the right direction. It can be very difficult to gauge productivity when nothing materializes right away, however this doesn’t necessarily mean that whatever you’re doing is a waste. If it’s not reducing your quality of life or keeping you stagnant, you’re most likely doing something worthwhile.
How can you go from good to better if you’re not being consistent with your efforts? How are you going to cross that small gap? The gap may be small, but the workload can be unnerving. If you put in the necessary work and effort, there will be results. If it’s worth the time, then you’ll give it all the time it needs. It’s never right away, and it’s never easy. You can bust your ass every day and it can still take a while to see noticeable results that you’re “envisioning.”
Always remember the reason why you started in the first place, and that itself is more than enough to keep you motivated if it’s truly worth it.
Success is contingent on your mindset, in relation to your overall effort. What will happen if I attempt to do this? Are the difficulties associated with this journey simply more inevitable obstacles that’ll be on my path for as long as I live? Will I be able to rise up again if it knocks me down?
You will only be as successful as you prepare yourself to be.
If you do get discouraged whatsoever, know that bad times (failure) seldom ever surpasses good times (for the most part). Failure tends to affect you much more than success, which is what makes it feel like it’s taking forever to get over. It tests you. You’re forced to see all the fine little details of your original plan that didn’t work. It molds you into a slightly different person with a newfound perspective of the situation. All the flaws and mistakes that were once overlooked will now be brought to the light… And once you see all of that, you should begin to work on getting better.
You can start out with nothing but a can-do attitude along with the willingness to achieve, and you’ll eventually work up towards results you originally aspired to obtain. With enough perseverance, patience, and the usual blood/sweat/tears (and sanity), you can achieve what you put your mind to (as cliché as it sounds, but clichés are clichés for a reason. They hold some degree of widespread truth).
Start by being good (with your mindset and level of preparedness) and you will only become better (as you begin your journey).
A bonis ad meliora.