Be somewhat good at things.

I think that it’s incredibly valuable to be somewhat good at things. To be alright at photography. To be interested in skiing. To know a bit about hip hop production. I’m not saying that you should be somewhat good at everything you do, and I’m certainly not telling you to not be passionate about something.

If you have a bit more knowledge than everyone else about something, you appreciate that thing more. If you’re just learning guitar, watching someone play a technically challenging riff means a lot more to you than to the guy next to you who just went to the same concert because his girlfriend likes the band and doesn’t all of this music sound the same anyways and how long do these things go for?

Appreciation means that you take pleasure in places where others can’t. And from appreciation comes other things, like interest, respect, and admiration.

Here’s an example. I’ve been taking photos for a couple of months. I know more or less what all the features of my camera do. I am by no means a good photographer, but when I see a good photo, I can respect the amount of work, attention to detail, and thought that went into it. A year ago, none of the things I appreciate now, with regards to photography, would have mattered nearly as much to me.