It's a cop out to think, "I'm not good enough at 'X' or in 'Y'." Titles, recognition, and achievement are seldom contingent on skill or being "good enough," whatever that means anyway. If you’ve ever taken the time to study someone whom many call “successful,” you’ve found yourself somewhere between a little and very disappointed. Even in The Snowball, Warren Buffett’s biography, you discover that for each one of his sharp decisions, he made a great many blunders. And if his father hadn’t been a successful person and influential congressperson, none of Buffett’s initial opportunities would have even existed. Without his initial opportunities, there would have been none of his subsequent possibilities, and so on. And this is someone who is at least a little respectable. So imagine what that says about a more uncouth celebrity.
Have you ever met the allegedly or ostensibly "good enough" people? Or heard them speak? I have. Just about every "somebody" I've met at big companies is underwhelming. They aren't captivating speakers. They aren't strong writers. The don't have a powerful presence. Their critical thinking skills rank somewhere on the cognitive development chart between plankton and lichen. Most are just products of attrition, occasionally expedited in their rise by route of cronyism or nepotism. They've stuck around long enough, were in the right place at the right time, and/or were connected to the "right people." I wish it weren’t true, since I believe in merit. But when I search my soul I know that smarter people who are harder working have enjoyed much less worldly return on their efforts than dumber people who are lazy but well-connected. It’s a law. Worldly “successful” people may or may not work on skills. Some do. Most don’t. That is a very rare factor to explain getting to the top.
And you have to remember this when your mind goes into doubt or self-criticism. Those inept people were able to become presidents, VPs, executives, "somebody" fundamentally by hanging around and connections. Seriously. Learn their stories.
On the obverse, some of the most captivating speakers I’ve ever heard were lifelong missionaries with barely two nickels to rub together. What they’ve seen and how they’ve devoted themselves to their fellow man is beyond admirable. A doofus who tripped his way to the top can’t capture that impact in a speech.
The best among us and the most rigorous thinkers of all time refused titles. Ever heard of Newton? Descartes? Einstein? Jesus of Nazareth? Few or no riches. And those are the names we DO know. Then there are the many, many, many names we don't know. Most people haven't even heard of Rosalind Franklin, the scientist actually responsible for discovery of the DNA double-helix structure. In fact, there's a great example of how the smartest and hardest working person usually fades into obscurity, not only not capitalizing on his or her talents, but not even getting recognition. We have all heard the names Watson and Crick held in great esteem. But they were research thieves. Or, how many people believe they could outthink Tesla? He had zero ambition to become the world’s first trillionaire - an easy feat if he would’ve kept the patent on electricity and monetized his inventions. Meanwhile, some goofball who has spent two decades riding other people’s coattails is on a motivational speaking tour. Another trust fund goofball who’s ridden the backs of workers will stand in front of a crowd and seriously say he’s a self-made man. It's our fault too. We reward the worst of us and the least capable with our admiration, attention, and funding. We reinforce the success myth, the myth of the self-made man, the myth of worldly blessings, the heresy of the prosperity Gospel, the blasphemy of the prayer of Jabez as a thorough theological stance.
Moreover, I have to add that I know “big time” people. I’ve trained many. I currently coach a few. I’ve worked side by side with others. They aren’t one iota happier than the average person. Not one. Having failed to build the toolkit of contentment and selflessness, they are perpetually angry or depressed. Perpetually. I’m not exaggerating. Nine out of ten are substance abusers and/or food or sex addicts. If being successful by a worldly standard is so great, why is there ANY lying and cheating among “successful” people? Split hairs all you like. If worldly recognition and riches are so awesome, why would we even see a 5% fail rate in the relationships of these big time “successes”? Yet, the rate of infidelity among wealthy people is TWO TO THREE TIMES higher (https://www.forbes.com/.../wealth-matrimony-millionaires... ) than the national average (https://comparecamp.com/cheating-statistics/). And keep in mind that those wealthy people are factored into the average, pushing the statistic higher than it would be without them. It’s fair to say they are FOUR TO SIX TIMES more immoral than regular people. Their net worth in dollars may be higher; but their value as humans is worth less.
Go ahead and compare yourself. Go ahead. Stack yourself against highly “successful” people. But compare yourself on metrics that matter. How do you treat your community? How do yo show up for your family? How do you love your neighbor? How do you pray for your enemies? How do you find peace and contentment instead of incessant covetousness for more? My friend, you can be more than good enough, ESPECIALLY when compared to others. You're more valuable than every single famous "successful" person.
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