Like most people who get together with school friends they don’t get the chance to see often enough, I often like to ask “Hey, who else have you kept in touch with? How are they doing?” I was catching up in just such a fashion not too long ago with a very good friend from law school. Our conversation then basically became a catching-up session within a catching-up session. Umm… huh? Read on.
I asked him if he ran into anyone from law school and he mentioned he had recently run into a woman we both knew from school. He said it was pretty funny because she said to him,
You know, I will never forget something Kevin said in law school. A bunch of us were talking about what you look for in someone else when dating and I said I preferred dating men who were smarter than me. And Kevin says, “Well, that would never work for me… I don’t know anyone smarter than I am.”
My buddy and I agreed that this story was absolutely fantastic… but partially because I 100% remember that conversation and that’s not at all what I said. HA!
What I actually said was that my view of people in law school was that I never viewed my classmates as being smarter than me. Sounds just as bad, doesn’t it? Ahh, but what is missing is the second half of my statement and this is absolutely critical:
I didn’t think I was the necessarily THE smartest, but I refused to operate on the assumption that anyone was smarter than me. They might have been better at some things, but I was also better at other things and so I would put myself on par with anyone.
I’m a fairly humble person, so nothing about this is being arrogant or cocky… rather, it’s a notion that in life, if you walk around thinking everyone is better than you or smarter than you or whatever… guess what? They definitely will be. You have just voluntarily placed yourself smack-dab in the middle of a foregone conclusion or self-fulfilling prophecy.
The converse is that while thinking you are just as good as anyone else doesn’t mean you automatically will be, at a minimum you’ve given yourself a fighting chance if nothing else. So why close yourself off before you even get started? That always struck me as an awful way of thinking.
Be bold and don’t sell yourself short. That’s how paragons of good-looks like myself get by… obviously.