On competition, specialization, and doubters
On competition Where you are told you compete, you have a very objective scale of good or bad. If you lose, you are not as good as your opponent, and when you win, you are better. However, there are many cases in which you will simply not be able to compete on the same level as someone else. They are simply better than you—more practiced, more fluid, with more grasp of the game you find yourselves playing. Why to become frustrated in such a moment? Why, if they are so much better and you are simply trying your best, should you become frustrated? A loss is only a strike against your pride. The most that you can be damaged in a friendly competition is through your ego. Do not let your ego shine through in any competition or any situation, for that is how you will become sorely defeated. Take solace in your ability to work hard in that moment and improve as quickly as possible, not in your ability compared to someone else.
On appreciation Make a point to appreciate each and every person that comes into your life. Those who criticized you toughened you. Those who loved you weakened you. Those who smiled at you lifted you. They all play an important role in your life experience and that is to be constantly enjoyed and appreciated. Appreciate others by playing a positive and meaningful role in their lives as well. Don't hesitate to smile at strangers, to love those close to you, or even to criticize the people closest. These are all roles that, when properly portrayed, allow you and others to live extraordinary lives.
On skills The most important skill that you can have is the skill of learning and adapting quickly. This applies to all learning and gives you the ability to gain all of the skills necessary to perform a given task at any time. Rather than focus on one skill forever, focus on many and have an essential understanding of all of them. When time comes to utilize all of them—as you inevitably will—you will not be at a loss for how this or that works in a basic sense.
On specialization In developing many skills, don't fail to have two to three core skills that you are especially good at. It's entirely possible that one skill pays all of your bills, but it will be difficult to monetize at all if you don't have an array of lesser, but still tangible, skills to back it up.
On doubters As you have made the decisions that you have decided to make, do you expect everyone else to be on board? Does it matter? Of course not. The easiest thing to be is a skeptic, and you have no business listening to mere skeptics unless they have insight that will genuinely help you on your path. (In which case, they are not skeptics, but honest mentors.) For all of those who have nothing to offer in the way of insight and hope to knock you off of your path because it does not match their vision, do not waste your time interacting with them. It is not your job to convince everyone, but to inspire. They think your path is incorrect, which is true. Your path is not and will not be the same as theirs, and if they applied your action to their lives, they would surely fail. The same follows if you applied their action to your life. Recognize the futility of debate and discussion when there is no right answer other than industriousness and euthymia.