Monday, December 15, 2014

The Problem With Good

This has been a theme throughout my life on my issues with good. No, I'm not talking the difference between good and evil but instead just the concept of whether or not something was good. Good, in this instance, is whether or not a task was not to a satisfactory condition.

Early in my life there was no middle ground; I was either really good at something or really, really bad a t something. Math? Easy. Art? My goodness my stick figure people somehow always came out dismembered. Remembering the states and capitols? Had that down in kindergarten. Being able to remember a sequence of words or numbers and repeat it back? Ha! I was and still am awful at that.

In those school examples there was always a marker to measure and that was a grade. However, I never put much stock in grades and was, for the most part, a lazy student because what came easy was too easy and what was too difficult seemed impossible. There was always this great divide between good and impossible and herein lies the problem with good.

For myself, I live by this almost asinine logic of, "if something is truly good then it must be difficult to do." That being so, and having the things I'm good at come so easily it makes it where what is good is meaningless and what is difficult is this illusion of perfection and if I could do the impossible I would be happy and therefore with all that happiness is impossible.

I am my toughest critic. Because of this I will not read what I write and I won't listen to any interview I've ever given because it can never be good enough because all this that I do has become easy for me. Don't get me wrong; I'm not gloating or boasting and I realize that the vast majority or people out there would not be able to do what I've done the past five years and write 1,129 blog posts. That is a LOT of writing and there have been times that I've taken breaks due to writer's block, but the feeling of satisfaction is often absent because it's so natural for me to do and I do this without thought.

The problem with good also is that it is expected. Most of the time people will not realize what they have until it is gone. This too plays into being good because perfection becomes a virtue; it isn't something to strive for, it isn't something to wish for, it is something that becomes expected. My standards are lofty and because of this I often don't see what I've done or achieved in a day but instead I see the words I should've said or the goals not reached. It's easy for me to lose sight of who I am because I see all that I'm not.

This topic has come up in presentations. This isn't a typical question or topic that comes up but I'm amazed at the way others with Asperger's say they relate when I'm on this topic. This makes me realize I'm not alone in this struggle of pursuing perfection and having a curse of good. Again, I hope I don't sound like I'm trying to boast or brag about what I've done, but for myself there isn't a sense of, "hey everyone, I'm Aaron Likens, two time award winner, a blogger with readers from around the world, published author..." No, my daily thoughts aren't anywhere near that. I see what I have yet to accomplish. I see the holes in my skill set and wish dearly that I could do those things that I can't.

When things come easily as they have for me in the areas of life that I'm capable at they came too easily. When things are difficult they prove to be a task that I can quickly become frustrated on and give up way too early. Unless you've lived with this I don't know if you can appreciate the self-loathing that can come from this and it would have to be confusing because you'd think we should be content, happy, and feeling accomplished. This, at least for me, is about as far from the truth as possible.

I wanted to write this and share this with you because A. If you do have Asperger's and experience this you aren't alone and B. If you are a parent or teacher and have a child of student that has tendencies like this it isn't that we are trying to be difficult or are simply moody. Nope, it's not like that at all. In some things we can excel and exceed expectations and if we do it possibly came naturally and without. Using the logic of, "something must be difficult to be good" this would mean that those great things are irrelevant and the only thing that matters is what is difficult and impossible which leads to frustration/fail-set and acquiring anything remotely close to motivation can prove to be difficult.

No comments:

Post a Comment