“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Believe it or not, this is one of my favorite quotes. Probably because it sounds SO random that I could have written it! Actually, it was written by Albert Einstein. And unlike me, he is a real genius.
What Einstein meant in this quote is that every person has a different talent, but we sometimes judge people by their weaknesses. From elementary school to the job world, we constantly base people’s values on things like grades and income rather than their talents. That is kind of like grading Donald Trump on his ability to be a famous comedian!
Here are just a few examples of people who “failed” at one point in their life, but ended up doing “okay.”
* Thomas Edison – told “too stupid to learn anything” by his teachers
* Oprah Winfrey – became pregnant at 14 and later got fired from her first TV job
* Bill Gates – dropped out of Harvard only to fail at starting a business (but he got it right with Microsoft!)
The list goes on and on. We have all heard the “rough start” stories of Lincoln, Disney, Colonel Sanders, Vera Wang….and even Einstein himself. In fact, at age 16, one of the main reasons why Einstein mastered differential and integral calculus is to figure out how to make a spitwad fly further (haha maybe we were more alike than I thought)! Einstein actually had a career as a musician and a comedian before winding up pursuing science and becoming the genius we think of today!
Now I am NOT saying that school/work doesn’t matter and to just immediately quit something if you feel like it’s not a good fit for you. There is definitely something to say about perseverance and hard work! Actually, I think that without those things it is almost impossible to become successful. But if one avenue isn’t your cup of tea…work hard, spend your free time pursuing your dreams, and don’t try to be a fish climbing a tree!
I have to remind myself of this every morning when the alarm goes off and it feels like 20 degrees in our apartment. The last thing that I want to do is wake up with a smile on my face saying “I have a purpose!” I tend to forget why I intentionally plan for a loud noise to rudely awaken me every morning. But rather than hitting the snooze button 5 times, I should realize that the sooner I start pursuing my dreams, the sooner they will become a reality. And personally, as a Christian, I believe that I am called to an even higher standard. My purpose and joy is to glorify God in any job or circumstance. Only then do I feel fully fulfilled.
So tomorrow when I hear the buzzing of that alarm…I hope I don’t hit snooze and dream of fish climbing trees!