When I said I was speaking at a high school, my friends were i wish i could fly essay. What will you say to high school students? But adults ask this mainly as a conversation starter.
I was in high school. And it is synonymous with disaster. What they really mean is, don’t get demoralized. Which is an uncomfortable thought. I’m not saying there’s no such thing as genius. But it needs to be cut still further. I think the solution is to work in the other direction.
This is what most successful people actually do anyway. I do now to get there? Flying a glider is a good metaphor here. How do you do that, though? Well, you don’t, and that’s what you need to find out. The best protection is always to be working on hard problems.
There has to be suspense. Well, this seems a grim view of the world, you may think. It’s exhilarating to overcome worries. I’m not saying this is the only way to be happy. In practice, “stay upwind” reduces to “work on hard problems.
Most people like to be good at what they do. I did be satisfied by merely doing well in school. Making a living is only a small part of it. Far more important is to take intellectual responsibility for oneself. I don’t mean that I’d slack in school.
I’d start trying to do real work. And the proof is that you’re bored. I was eight, I was rarely bored. I could play all day. I was ready for something else. Hanging out with friends is like chocolate cake. You may be thinking, we have to do more than get good grades.
It’s not getting something done. They can’t tell how smart you are. The mere existence of prep schools is proof of that. No wonder you become cynical. And you don’t even get paid a lot. So what do you do?