Das Beste Oder Nichts

The best or nothing.

It took me an abnormally long time to realise that one only matters if he or she is the best. Less than that, and you’re off the radar where people notice and appreciate you.

That’s the way with life. You only have one option to truly stand out: to be the best of the best, the cream of the crop, the pick of the bunch.

I see the truth in Effie’s words when she said being second earns you nothing at all. Nobody cares about who’s second, or third, or fourth best. They are just add-ons that no one cares about. They exist just because they need to.

In a world where materialism is considered a significant aspect of life, one simply cannot afford to be any less than the best. Being so doesn’t mean you’re not good, just that you’re not good enough, not good enough for the world or anyone around you. Sure, people will always be there to say, “You’ve done your best,” but if your best doesn’t make you the best, it’s no use, is it not? You don’t get to obtain a scholarship if you’re only second best; you don’t get selected for the most wanted job in the region if you’re only second best; you don’t get to be President if you’re only second best. You practically get nothing out of being second, which makes you nothing in the world’s eye.

If anything, you only get pitiful stares and words of consolation that aren’t comforting in the bit, and that is worse than anything else in the world.

In other words, perhaps there is no other goal in life other than to be the best. Perhaps that’s what living this life is really all about. Being the best, beating the rest.

Published by

Michelle Teoh

26-year-old cynical Asian, book enthusiast and purveyor of fine sarcasm.

14 thoughts on “Das Beste Oder Nichts”

  1. OR you could just be content with what you have, and make the best of the circumstances you’re in. c:
    Because really, “best” only belongs to one person; the rest of us are still here, and life still goes on.

    1. Hello, Someone. Why do I have a feeling I know who you are.

      I’ve tried your former suggestion before. In fact, I’ve been trying that my whole life. But it never seems to satisfy people around me. There’re two kinds of people in life: people who want to see you succeed, and people who want to see you fail. And I’d rather please the former selection of people.

    1. Someone is quite right, you’re gonna end up hating yourself if you’re obsessing on being ‘the best’. Hypothetically, there is always someone out there who is better than you, being ‘the best’ is very subjective. Try being the awesomest but don’ over do it.

      1. Ditto Someone’s response.

        I’ve never wanted to be the best. But it’s what society has made me to be. I’ll let you in on a ‘secret’: with parents like mine, sometimes being second best is never enough.

    1. “In other words, perhaps there is no other goal in life other than to be the best. Perhaps that’s what living this life is really all about. Being the best, beating the rest.”

      Karl Dönitz resisted with only 56 Submarines against the Jews. The battle goes on, an Karl is a Heron.

      1. Sorry for originally being Gemanjewish. So please, let me correct.


  2. Hm. Well I really don’t know what to say; especially taking into consideration that my words actually prompted this realization. Or more probable, that they just made you realize things you were already feeling. It’s not a nice feeling and it’s not an enjoyable mindset so I guess all I can say is that it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in this.

    I am content with what I have though. I’m just more in competition with myself and unfairly using others as a measurement tool. I don’t know what it’s like for you Michelle, whether you view others as just a means to an end or whether you genuinely think you need to compete with them and against them.

    Regardless, you’re awesome so.


    1. Like I’ve said, I’ve never wanted to be the best. I was content with being average. Actually, I wasn’t even average, but I wanted to be but apparently (not to sound arrogant but) it was part of fulfilling my duty as being Michelle Teoh that I had to be the best at everything I did. All along I didn’t care, but it’s gotten to the point that I’m constantly reminded of my flaws, the ‘what-if’s, the indirect connotations by my parents that “oh so-and-so’s articles ALWAYS get published, don’t they?” and “haven’t your friends asked you why your marks for English was lower than theirs since you’ve always gotten good marks for English?” It got to the point that whenever these questions surface, I would blurt out, “What? Are you not happy with my marks? Are you not satisfied?” and cry. It isn’t any different from my schoolmates and teachers. So you see, it isn’t really about being good anymore, it’s about being the best. There’s no other option for me. Other than shame and humiliation. And then I was reminded of your earlier posts. And I realised you were right, right, right.

      I hate the word ‘competition’. I hate competitions. I’m not a competitive person in the least. In fact, I’m a coward. But I don’t really have any other choice, do I?

      Also Effie! I apologise if you see this post as plagiarism or something. I didn’t mean for it to be a rip-off or anything. I was just strongly reminded of you.

      And I think you’re awesome-er so !!!

      DFTBA back at you sister !!!

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