My problem was that I thought I was smart: I won piano competitions; I scored nineties in university; I majored in physics; I published academic papers; I got accepted into a direct-entry PhD program at the most prestigious university in Canada. I was inexperienced, a tad bit narcissistic and too proud.
So when life got real, it finally occurred to me that winning piano competitions and studying physics didn’t mean much. They wouldn’t help me build real wealth.
Being smart wouldn’t help me build relationships. It wouldn’t help me understand business and economics. It wouldn’t give me any skills needed in the “real world.”
But because I thought I was smart, I thought I didn’t have to work as hard as everyone else. I thought I could do everything better, faster. But I couldn’t. And this was frustrating. As a result I was slow to make progress. I felt sorry for myself. I made excuses.
The lesson: no more being fancy.
I’ve learned this lesson. But it’s funny how remnants of fanciness present themselves now and then. At least I know them when I see them now. I can catch them before they’re expressed. But I still have work to do…