Living in central New York, we end up having a lot of windstorms and snowstorms; sometimes they come at the same time; other times one type of storm will morph into a different type of storm.
I remember once we had a major windstorm that turned into, for us, a minor snowstorm. At one point I was having a conversation on the phone with my ex during the blackout the storm caused that went like this:
Me: It seems that one of the siding panels, the one at the very top next to the roof, has broken off and is dangling by a thread from the top of the house.
Her: Oh no, that sounds bad.
Me: Yup. Because there’s no lights and the storm I can’t get the ladder to climb up to see what I can do. Not that I like ladders in the first place but in the dark and storm I’m thinking that would be a bad idea.
Her: You on a ladder is always a bad idea.
Me: Someone’s got to do it so I’ll wait until morning and see what I can do.
Her: You can’t; we don’t have that ladder anymore.
Me: What do you mean we don’t have that ladder anymore?
Her: It’s not there anymore. I think Roger took it.
Me: Roger took our ladder? Why’d he do that?
Her: Roger has a pattern of taking things from people’s homes he was working on that he didn’t think they needed. He took Sue’s paint without telling her. That’s why we haven’t used Roger for anymore projects at the house.
Me: I didn’t know that. So, no ladder?
Me: Well, I guess there’s no way for me to get up there then.
Her: Trust me, it’s for the best.
Wasn’t her concern for my safety touching?
The truth is that not only was she right that night when she said it, but she was right when it was finally completed… for multiple reasons.
One, I’m scared of heights. I’ve only been on 3 ladders my entire life, and none of them were large ladders like what I was thinking about climbing.
Two, I wouldn’t have had a spotter which, for someone who pretty much can’t do many things would have been imperative.
Three, you see the result; there’s no way I could have done anything to make it look that good.
Four, although I have some tools (my ex called it my toy toolkit), I didn’t have the right equipment to do the job.
I put in a call to the company that replaced my roof. The guy who came over turned out to be a guy I’ve known for over 40 years, who did some work on the roof years earlier and now works for the guy who owns his own roofing company, his son-in-law. It took a guy with his kind of skill 45 minutes, which not only consisted of his fixing the initial problem, but he then shored up the entire front of the house because he said more than half of the siding sheets were loose, and that accounted for some of the rattling I’d been hearing whenever we had high winds (which we have often, along with the snow).
For all the work he did, it ended up only costing me $75, which I gladly paid. In my mind, this was a job that I was going to get charged something like $300, which would have been hard to deal with at that time, and which explained why I was willing to give it the ol’ college try. I’d fallen into a couple of old mind traps, which is going to lead to the point of this story (hold on, it’s coming…).
The first trap was my thinking that something was going to be easier than it turned out to be because I have a faith in myself that, in this particular case, was unwarranted. Ladders, tools, nails… I was definitely kidding myself that I had the qualifications and talent to do this kind of work on my own.
The second trap was assuming something was true without actually checking to see if it was. Most of the time people either assume things cost more or less than they actually do. This leads to us not verifying things up front and then getting burned on the back end. I’m in health care finance, and it’s amazing how often I hear people complain about how much their medical bill turned out to be, only to find out they didn’t even think to call ahead of time to see how much it would cost, and, if they had insurance, how much they would cover.
Can I tell you a secret? Other than the fact that I write because I must, I write this blog, and this blog, and this blog, and this blog, because I recognize that none of us is great at everything. Many of us have multiple skills, lots of things we can talk about that hopefully can help others, even if we’re only trying to be entertaining.
Maybe it’s motivational; maybe it’s technical. Maybe it’s conceptual; maybe it’s thought provoking. I do a lot of writing because I do a lot of reading and I do a lot of thinking and then I do some “doing”… and then I share.
I recognize there are times when I see something and my mind gets boggled, even if I’m interested in it. Sometimes I’m thankful that it doesn’t impact me. Other times, I might need to ask people questions to gain more clarity. Sometimes we need to reach out to someone else to get what we need.
What are you ready to do to be successful in business or life? I’m asking you to “think”, and think hard.
What are you thinking about? You don’t have to tell me; keep it in your mind. Want do you want to do? What do you hope to accomplish? Have you gauged your skill set to determine if you’re ready to do it? If not, what are you willing to do for any of these things?
Are you willing to pay for the knowledge you need? Are you willing to invest the time to learn what you need? Are you willing to pay for someone to help guide you? Are you willing to pay someone to provide services for things you either can’t do or don’t like doing? Are you willing to take a chance to achieve what you want for any of the things I mentioned above?
BTW, turns out my ex was either wrong about the ladder or lied because she wanted to protect me; either way, here’s the ladder:
There’s my contribution for the day; now, find out what you want and what you’re good at and let’s conquer the world! For good reasons of course. 😉
8 thoughts on “None Of Us Is Great At Everything”
Accepting my limitations as I have grown older has been the most difficult thing for me in my life. Luckily for me, I live with my son and daughter in love who see to that I don’t get involved in any foolish adventures like climbing a ladder to fix something or the other. I have now reconciled myself to that kind of living as necessary for my own good.
I would say, Bless your Ex for being so thoghtful.
You’re a much nicer man than I’ll ever be Rummuser. 🙂 Truthfully, I need someone watching over me when it comes to a lot of things… like someone to tell me I was taking the wrong pain relief pills this morning; ugh! lol
Yo! That was a good story to illustrate your point. I have that same issue with over-confidence.
Don’t take those pills!
LOL! I’d already taken them, which was problematic; bothered me all day. The amazing thing about overconfidence is that it’ll often flip totally around and we’ll end up with no confidence. In this case, I’d rather not have total balance between the two, but the lack of confidence part should only be at 25% or less… which would be nice. 🙂
True, I’ve had that happen to me, the flip. It’s annoying that we can’t regulate ourselves. Or can we?
It’s something interesting to ponder. As always, I believe it depends on the circumstances, which can be multiple things to consider or deal with.
You might be surprised by how much business people in the trades get when they are called out to fix “the fix” some consumer did when they tried to save a buck.
You can understand and know what steps need to be taken to do certain things but not be good enough.
Classic example for me took place at my old gym. I played pick up ball four or five days a week for years.
Some of the guys I played with were pretty good, few played college ball. But I will never forget the time a former NBA player came in and wiped the floor with them.
I think he only played in about 10 games, really wasn’t a good pro player, but there are levels of expertise and sometimes the smartest thing we can do is recognize our own.
I get that; sometimes we think we’re experts at something we’ve never done. There’s a former NBA player, mainly a bench guy for years, who goes around the country playing people who think he’s not a good player. He slaughters every one of them; most of the time they don’t score a single basket.
I hate acknowledging most things I know I’m not going to be good at. Luckily I’m also a realist I’m an authority in my field, but otherwise I’m pretty much a watcher, not a doer. I learned how to do a lot of things over the last year, but I know my limits… sometimes anyway lol