Setting the Bar Low

“Every man has one thing he can do better than anyone else and usually it is reading his own handwriting.” ~ G. Norman Cole

Tongue in cheek

Tongue in cheek (Photo credit: pcgn7)

On first reading, this quote made me smile. Then it made me think, as I am sure that is what it was meant to do, however tongue in cheek the wisdom may seem.

We do not seem to see our strengths but know all our weaknesses. Sometimes we bask in our failures. Marinate in what we deem our mediocrity and lack of success instead of seeing that success is in the eye of the beholder, but that eye is often much too critical.

I am not saying that we should be satisfied with just being able to read our own writing, I am saying it is a stepping stone–a metaphor for accepting ourselves and the fact that maybe we have something of value to say.

What do you think?

Published in: on June 28, 2013 at 9:50 am  Comments (38)  
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38 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. So true Lou. We are the first to criticize ourselves and the last to acknowledge our achievements. A bit of a Canadian trait eh?

  2. Marinated and grilled …. Thoughtful read this morning with my cup o’joe

    • like a hamburger

      • Yum

      • steak would be even better

      • I’m easy

  3. When reading that quote, I immediately thought of doctors’ handwriting and how pharmacists are the only people who can read it. This is relevant somehow but I can’t pinpoint it, haha.

    That said, I do agree. Many writers don’t like to publish because they don’t think their words are good enough, but at one point they need to accept that this is what they wrote and be brave enough to face the world with their book.

    • my first thought was of a doctor’s handwriting–though my notetaking handwriting when I am taking down stuff for the newspaper would be just as bad
      You second observation is so true

  4. Hey, not only can I read my own handwriting, but I can read my boss’ handwriting, and he’s a lawyer, so I consider that quite an accomplishment. It took me 25 years to be able to read it though LOL!!

    I think it’s important to accept who we are but always strive to be our best!

    • you are one talented soul except when you try to trick as you are doing again this week with your mystery photo

  5. Good morning Lou Ann,
    Must be a Canadian thing. Americans have NO PROBLEM tooting our own horns. We can be a bunch of toots. Oh, did I write that out loud? Now I’ve said too much. I should go. ~~

    • you are a funny girl–and tooting your own horn is not necessarily a bad thing!

  6. I love this post. It rings so true. And to the commenter before me (Honie Briggs): She’s right. There have been studies done on the cultural differences between Canadians and Americans in the are of horn tooting. We are a much more low-key population. We’d do well to take a lesson from our southern neighbours. 🙂

    • I think you are right–but I think under our humbleness we know we are right!

  7. Very insightful post. Thanks for sharing it this morning.

  8. Yes. It’s important to acknowledge where we are as a stepping stone and then from there set our sights higher.

  9. It is frightening when doctors write orders that those entrusted to carry them out cannot read them. Mistakes get made!

  10. I think we are our own worst critics and also think that in other ways we are more gentle on ourselves than we should be. The dichotomy amazes me and confuses me all the time.

    • that is a very astute point–sometimes though we are gentle on ourselves when we can be nothing else–sometimes we let ourselves get away with too much

      • Yup…and I’m always confused by it..

      • me too 🙂

  11. I can barely read my own writing sometimes, I suppose I should be concerned about that. I saw a quote the other day that really made me think: it said, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is that we’re comparing our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reels.” I thought that was really interesting, and it actually made me feel better.

    • so true — we know every nook and cranny of our faults but not those of others, those we see only the accomplishments of and none of their weaknesses–good quote!

  12. What a great quote and a great post! This definitely goes along the same lines that my own recent post has been following. When we start accepting ourselves, flaws and all, that’s when we start seeing that we can actually go to even greater heights than we had previously imagined.

  13. I’m all for learning to accept ourselves and not to dwell on what others believe us to be …when we really feel we know ourselves and that we are not the substance of who they think we are… Diane

    • we are the only ones who can truly know ourselves–so many times I am surprised with how others see me–sometimes pleasantly so, sometimes not

  14. I had a hard time accepting my friend’s praise when she read my first novel (still in beta form) recently. I’m used to criticism and expect it, I suppose.

  15. Great post and metaphor. And btw, my handwriting is horrible. Even I struggle to read it. (This too says something….:))

  16. I think everyone has some thing of value to say, its getting others to listen with an open mind that is the challenge.

  17. What you’ve written is so true. My hubby often says to me, “Don’t do yourself down.” when I belittle myself or my talents. 🙂 I’m also far too critical of myself.


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