We are all born small and weak, and a large majority of us die just the way we got here. How we choose to live our lives in between those two moments is completely up to us. We get to choose how we spend that short period of time between birth and death.
The problem is most of us aren’t aware we have that option. We stumble through life one day at a time. The tragedy in this is that it gets passed down from one generation to the next. The cycle continues, and we never deviate from it because that is all we know.
From the day we are born we are all told how extraordinary we can be, or how special we are, and we are given a sense of entitlement. We are made to believe that the world owes us everything we are told we are.
And when life punches us in the face, we have no answer for it. We don’t know how to fight back, so we just take the hit. Then we take another hit. We keep getting hit over and over until there is no life left in us. And before we know it, we are dead, and we don’t even realize it.
Sadly, some people die in adolescence. The minute somebody tells us we’re no good, we stop fighting. Some people die in their teens. And the small percentage that is still alive, dies in their twenties.
The problem is, because we were told how special we were, we don’t know how to fight back. Reality beats the shit out of us so most of us die before we even get a chance put up a fight.
Then we spend the rest of our lives dead in mediocrity because we were lied to and led to believe we were special! And the cycle perpetually continues and repeats itself indefinitely.
The problem with believing we are special is that we never learn to work hard at anything. Most of us spend the entirety of our lives without ever winning.
From little league to college football; most of us never truly know what it feels like to win. We get rewarded with medals simply because we show up and participate. These participation trophies are just another punch in the face that we have no answer for. We get rewarded for showing up so we have absolutely no incentive to put in any extra effort. We think that because we just got a trophy, we are somehow winning.
People don’t know how to win. They never develop the habits it takes to win. Because they’re “born” special, they never truly put in the extra effort to do what it takes to win. They don’t put in the extra hours after dark, or grind it out before the sun even rises. We no longer know how to work. There are no more calloused hands and there are no more faces marred by dust and sweat and blood.
You are not special, I am not special, and the greats sure as hell are not special. The moment we all realize that, our lives will be changed forever. Because the minute we realize we are not special, we will become relentless and we will do everything our power to be extraordinary.
“History doesn’t repeat itself, human nature remains the same.” Ken Burns