I did not know that I was average. Not until my best friend just told me.
We were on the phone, talking for hours. We used to do that often. Sometimes we could be quiet for minutes without it being weird at all. Maybe we watched a clip on youtube. Then we started talking about a mutual friend.
“How’s Michael?”. I asked.
“He’s fine. Studying at an average school, getting average grades. Pretty much like you I guess.”
That sentence stuck with me for years. I always felt like I deserved better results than I got. I knew that if I applied myself I could accomplish great things. Ironically, that became an excuse for not doing my best. I would tell myself “I could probably get the highest grade in this course”. And then I did not. I did OK. I did more than OK sometimes. But rarely did I do my best.
I had to face reality. After that phone call I became obsessed with doing my best.
I think that working towards realizing your potential is essential if you want to live a good life. “Realize your potential” sounds a bit cheesy. It’s not very clear. This is what I mean when I say realize your potential:
- Get accepted to your dream education
- Get your dream job
- Write a book
- Start a business
- Learn Spanish
- Learn to play guitar
- Learn to dance salsa
If I could give my 16-year old self some advice.
You can’t use your potential for anything except getting better. What you can do does not matter. No one cares. Work hard and smart. Don’t be scared of doing your best. Then you will become confident, happy and tall.