I used to be a genius. I knew everything because I read T-Nation. That’s all it took; I didn’t need school. The ONLY reason I was in college was to get a degree. I already knew everything I needed to know, and anything else I could learn extracurricularly.
Then I grew up.
The invincible feeling that youth brings is nice at the time, but looking back it’s borderline embarrassing. Young kids are some of the worst humans to deal with. At least I can take solace in the fact that everyone’s been young before.
I always thought I was better than the rest. I’ve learned a lot since then, and ironically now see myself as much less intelligent. But I’ve learned that it is never a conversation of better – only different.
Some use their hours to learn therapy. Some learn how to train Olympic athletes. Some fine-tune their research skills. Some can recite whole movies word for word. Some are great at make people feel good just through conversation.
Time offers experience, but everyone values different things. I like to study things, but if a client wants someone to pump in energy and motivation into their fitness lives, my experience means nothing to them. They won’t think I’m better than anyone because I don’t care about pumping in fake energy at all.
Young Lance didn’t value school, but I had a drastic change in tone towards the end of my degree program. It’s silly really: how could I possibly know that chemistry is worthless… without knowing chemistry? These days it’s easier for me to just assume everything is important and learn it all.
Instead of waiting for an experience to be over, search to uncover its value.
Have you been there? Tell me about a time you’ve been short-sighted or a subject that you think everyone should learn about in the comments below!
Well put, Lance. This shows a lot of humility. I am guilty of the exact same thing, I didn’t value school, and ironically find myself INTERESTED in going back and reading some of the books we had to study in school. I think everyone goes through something like this at some point.
I had the same experience in soccer as well. Early in high school I thought I was the best goalkeeper, not seeing a need to attend extra goalkeeping practices and couldn’t see why I was still playing JV when I had shown promise to play varsity Freshman year. It took two years for me to realize that in irder to be excellent at this particular skill set, two hours of team practice a day wouldn’t cut it. Once I swallowed a bit of pride, I decided to contact and become a sort of apprentice for a local goalkeeper coach. My career skyrocketed from there.
It’s nice to get slapped in the face with reality sometimes, as long as you have the strength to accept it and get yourself ready for whatever is next.