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I Just Feel So Inadequate?

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I Just Feel So Inadequate?

Postby blade5 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:48 am

I'm fairly smart. I grasp concepts in a facile manner and have perfect grades in advanced classes. However, I feel as though I am just unremarkable. I hear about kids who invent magnificent things (Taylor Wilson and his nuclear reactor and Jack Andraka and his pancreatic cancer test), perform music like seasoned professionals (Jackie Evancho and her opera singing and Umi Garrett and Emily Bear and their piano playing), or people with incredible grasps on concepts (Magnus Carlsen and his ability to play chess and Jacob Barnett and his amazing grasp on mathematics.) These kids are awe-inspiring. Yet here I am, a 16 year old girl, perhaps slightly above average but radically unremarkable. It makes me feel so awful about myself. I can't recite 22000 digits of pi, nor did I take calculus as a 10 year old, nor did I perform at Carnegie Hall at the age of 7. No, I can recite about 20 digits of pi, am 16 years old and taking calculus, and have played in my high school orchestra.

I hate myself. How can I do something remarkable? As a child I wanted to be an Einstein; I wanted to revolutionize the world through science. But how can I possibly do that when I am so average?
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I Just Feel So Inadequate?

Postby Gonzalo » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:55 am

Well, your problem is that you're aspiring to be LIKE somebody else, you can't be a great somebody else, you can only be a great you.

'Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it?ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.' ? Albert Einstein

So figure out your talent, your skill, and contribute, that's your legacy, don't try to be somebody else, because that's why you feel like a failure.
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I Just Feel So Inadequate?

Postby Harman » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:01 am

I think it is a little unfair for blaming your parents for trying to encourage you, but I understand what you mean.
All the same, from your own description, you are actually NOT average.
YOu are studying calculus, which the average schoolkid does not.
You are playing in an orchestra, which the average schoolkid does not (alas).

The second point to make is that not all the achievements you ist are worth-while.
Why is reciting pi to 200 places a significant claim to intellectual superiority? (Actually, it is often a symptom of a particular kind of mental malfunction.) Personally, I don't think I can get past 3.14159 from memory, but so what? Computers can do that particular job far better than people.
Leave it to them.

The third point to be made is that you don't have to be Einstein to change the world - or at least a tiny bit of it.
Take my own case.
I am of well-above-average intelligence, but my academic record is not thrilling, and my professional career was generally satisfying, but not in any sense important, except as a way of keeping body and soul together, and having a great number of interesting experiences along the way All the same, I would claim to have made a small but important difference to the world.

For some years, I lived in a third world country.
While I was there, a citizen of that country who had been living abroad came home, partly to start an opera company.
Opera was my first love among the arts, so I joined up to help him.
He is artistically very gifted, but very low on management skills, so I think that what I and some other volunteers did was very important in keeping the company going.
Our reward is that several locals who would probably never have seen an opera, let alone performed in one, came along to join us, and several went on to study western classical singing (mainly opera) in the west.
One or two are now back in their own country, teaching western classical singing.
Others are still abroad, trying to make it as professionals in a very competitive world.
I am very proud to have had a hand in making that happen.

Being special is as much about what you do as what you are.
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