Why I prefer to be number two.

May 25, 2018

I used to want to be the Floyd Mayweather of anything I did, I mean, the guy is super rich and has a perfect record in his sport and is generally thought of as the best. He is the champ. The thing about him, and people like him, is that he has a target on his back; and everyone in his pockets and business. The thing about being number one is you have nowhere to go but down. You can keep trying to top yourself but that can be maddening and lonely. 


I like to be a comfortable number two, I like to aim high and I have ambition and goals as well, but being number one also gives everyone a reason to think that they get to know everything about your life. My dad has had his same job for quite a long time and I once asked him why he hasn't gone any higher, he's been offered the chance numerous times and turned it down, and he gave me a lot of good reasons. He would have to go to salary, so no overtime; he would have to work even more hours, he would have to deal with everyone's drama even more. The list goes on forever, but basically it boiled down to he makes more money at his current title doing a less stressful job than if he got promoted. 


A lot of people just like titles though, they want to hear that they are the best. I know I'm the best, I'm the crème de la crème and I don't need any arbitrary title or person to tell me so. On the other hand it does feel good to be recognized. What can I say? I'm human. I just know how that adoration can be as bad as any addiction. When I was in school I was the biggest teacher's pet in the world. I was the first person in my school to get a perfect score on the standardized test. I feel like the main reason why I scored so well on this test was partly because I knew the material, but mostly because at that school they posted your grades publicly (by student number) every week so you could see where you fell on the curve. I got an adrenaline rush seeing my number at the top of that list every week. I even told everyone my student number when they got curious about who was screwing up the curve; that put a target on my back. I was asked to throw a couple questions here and there so the teacher would give everyone extra points. (if nobody got 100% then she would add points to every ones test, enough to give the top person 100%) I could never bring myself to throw a test though, I craved that attention of a perfect score. 


It took me so long to unclench my butt and learn to relax and not be a perfectionist and know when to move on. I have to say, there was a long streak of try anything, be the best, no other option. but then I went from try and succeed to try and if I'm not the best ever at it on my first try then give up and never try again and move on to the next thing. Now, I'm in a much better place. There are still things that I pick up on naturally like everyone does, but if there's something that I'm passionate about then I practice and practice and research and try to learn as much as I can. But sometimes it's best to leave things up to peoples imaginations. At that same school, my brothers played all the sports and I was a cheerleader. Somehow a rumor got around the school that I was the fastest runner in the school, faster than all the guys even. The track team even tried to recruit me; but I refused to ever run or race. Because of that I remained a legend, because that's all it ever was, a legend. 


"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

-Vince Lombardi

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