Half of being smart is knowing what you are dumb at and not doing it.
One of my favorite sayings. It’s helped me tremendously.
Almost every time I say that someone replies that if I really want something, I will be able to do it. All it takes is dedication and effort. I love the courage of that statement, but it’s not true. Supposing I wanted to be the prima ballerina of the Phoenix Ballet—not going to happen. Even if I practiced every day for the next 10 years. I took three years of ballet when I was seven, and did not continue. I don’t have the talent or the body type. I am too old to be a professional dancer. (Most retire around age 40.) I have arthritis. All the dedication in the world would not change that.
But the main point of the statement is slightly different and entirely positive. Instead of chasing after impossible dreams, take a look at your skills, talents, experience. Build on those. Thrive.
Don’t focus on your failures, shortcomings and try to ignore them to create a foundation that won’t support your dreams. It’s a waste of your life.
There’s a second half to that saying: The other half of being smart is knowing what you are good at and doing a lot more of it.
It’s always surprising to me how many people want to struggle when they don’t need to.
––Quinn McDonald is a writer who teachers writing. She wrote that saying in her journal when she was 27 years old.