Growing up in the 80’s, films like The Karate Kid left an indelible mark on me. I could recognize Daniel LaRusso’s struggles; feeling at some times like an outsider, and trying to find his way. I also often felt like I understood the struggle of being “in the middle.” I was smart, but not incredibly smart. I was funny, but not incredibly funny. I was social, but not incredibly social. I was really never the best at anything.
So, in watching that film, and hearing Joe Esposito’s “You’re the Best Around” I thought about how, one day, I could become “the best” at something.
And of course, I was wrong.
But not for the reasons I might have once thought.
As I’ve aged, both developmentally and intellectually, I’ve come to understand that there is no real “best around.”
At least not for long.
And, my goal has shifted. I no longer want to be “the best around,” but rather “constantly getting better.”
As I’ve written previously, being the best at anything sends the signal that we have no more to learn about that subject, area, or skill. And that’s dangerous.
Instead, we have to understand that getting better consistently is the real goal, and we have to keep setting our sights higher as we get better and better at what we do.
In fact, if the song were to resonate better with me today, it might be called “You’re Getting Better and Better Each Day” but, in fairness, it probably doesn’t fit with the film, and likely wouldn’t be as catchy.