One of the most common sayings is
Anything worth doing is worth doing well
I think this perverse. It is both obvious and incorrect (not easy to manage!). I think it ought to be
Anything worth doing is worth doing badly
Why? Join me below the fold to find out
In any field of endeavor, there will be a few people who do magnificently well. Most of us, the vast majority of us, will not do so well. No matter how much you practiced as a kid (or adult), no matter your desire or ambition, you will not play basketball like Michael Jordan. Yet, we constantly hector ourselves and each other to 'improve', 'do better' and so on. To what end?
Clearly, to be successful in a career you will have to do your job reasonably well (unless you are a CEO or a politician....). And clearly there are some things which should not be done by people who are not competent: I do not want to have my surgery performed by someone who's incompetent, or fly in a plane piloted by a neophyte, nor have my kids taught by people who do not know what they are doing. But the saying I quoted is not
You had better learn to do something well
I am not speaking, here, of things which could damage other people, nor of one's profession.
What of hobbies?
How should we measure the worth of a hobby?
Should it not be in terms of amount of enjoyment?
If you get pleasure out of banging on a piano, then, as long as you don't force people to listen, why should it matter if you are good or not, or even if you are improving? Further, I think people would likely improve more if they let themselves enjoy themselves. They would probably learn more. They would be less embarrassed, because they wouldn't be striving for something they could not get.
Many people give up in frustration at various tasks. Why do they get so frustrated? Is it not because they are comparing themselves to others?
Look, instead, at a little kid learning to walk. They don't give up! And they don't get embarrassed. They don't sneak off to practice alone. Nor are they after 'mastery'. They just want to walk!
Similarly with learning to talk. Spend some time with toddlers and you quickly realize that they do not care about making mistakes, they just keep talking! Contrast this with how adults learn a foreign language, and are terrified to use it for fear of appearing foolish! Does this make sense? If you hear a foreigner mangling English, do you think that person a fool? Of course not! You think he or she is learning English. So, why do we have such trepidation? Because we don't speak like a native, because we haven't reached mastery, because we don't do it well.
But it is entirely worthwhile to learn a foreign language badly. If you are traveling to, say, Italy, it is worth knowing how to say "Where is the bathroom?" and "Can you find someone who speaks English?" and so on, even if you never learn more. It is also worthwhile getting to the point where you can sort-of communicate. Even if you never reach fluency.
Much is like this. So, do some things badly. Enjoy yourself. It beats the heck out of doing nothing. Specialization is for insects.