I started replying to this post by the Inelegant Horse Rider and found that I had more to say than fitted politely into a comments box, so brought it back here to mull over.
I apologise if I’ve already ranted at you on this theme at some point, either in person or here. I have this vague feeling that I have… but anyway here’s the dialogue.
Everyman: I could be a great [rider/writer/person] if I … achieved A, wasn’t hampered by B and didn’t worry about C.
Logic: Yes. That’s true. So do that.
Everyman: I can’t do that. I’ve tried to do A and it’s really hard and I can’t quite get it, I have commitments to B and deep-seated psychological issues around C.
Logic: Well, assuming your statement is true, then if you can’t change A, B & C, you can’t be a great [rider/etc.]
Everyman: Well that upsets me.
Logic: Illogical, Captain.
Everyman: But I want to be a better [rider etc]
Logic: Then change A B and C.
Everyman: I can’t. I won’t. I don’t have the physical/mental capacity to do A, B is my life and C is my personality.
Logic: So you’re saying those things are more important to you than being a great rider?
Everyman: Maybe. Maybe it’s more important that I live my own life than that I try to ride as well as someone else who has a completely different body, life and mind. Maybe I have to understand that everyone’s different and just because someone else can do a thing doesn’t mean it’s fair to expect myself or anyone else to do it to the same standard. It doesn’t mean I can’t improve in my own ways, and achieve goals that are a great achievement for me. If I changed my life and my personality I might ride better but I wouldn’t be me any more. I have to be me first and foremost. If I can be a better me that’s great, but I still have to be me.