Appreciation For Inaptitude

To the Gods:

[Thanks] That I wasn’t more talented in rhetoric or poetry, or other areas.  If I’d felt that I was making better progress I might never have given them up.

– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1:17

You hear a lot of professional athletes thank god or their parents for their natural, or god-given, physical abilities.  This makes sense.  If Mike Vick didn’t have more fast twitch muscle fibers than a gazelle, he wouldn’t be an NFL quarterback.  But, for every Mike Vick, there are 1000 guys who are just moderately less gifted.   These guys are relegated to being called “these guys” because they just didn’t have the physical ability to hack it at an elite level.  Some of these guys put in the same amount of work as Vick did, some probably more.  Maybe they’ve got a few good stories to tell about their playing days, but they’ve essentially wasted years of their prime on something that would never bear fruit.  All those precious hours could have been spent on something that would have.

When something doesn’t suit your character, or your future, it’s better to recognize this as early as possible.  I’ve wanted to learn programming for a few years now.  Today, I found this neat little site and did some of the lessons.  Great stuff.  But you know what?  I’m trying to be a lawyer right now.  I don’t know shit about lawyering.  Those minutes I pour into learning how to program something, while they may be interesting or stimulating, aren’t really going to benefit me.  I’m not going to be a programmer.  I’m going to be a lawyer.  Even if i have an aptitude for coding (doesn’t look like it…), it doesn’t suit my future right now.  So, after 10 minutes of playing around, I cut bait. I’ll never hit the app or web lottery now, but you know what?  I wasn’t going to hit it anyway.  Not in my wheelhouse.

Focus on what’s in your wheelhouse.  Once you’re successful, you can branch out.

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