So in high school, I took 6 AP classes and had a 3.997 GPA.
They determined who the valedictorian was by sending transcripts off somewhere and having people highlight hard classes and ACT scores and arbitrarily say that someone was the best.
I got second place, behind one of my friends. I did get higher placing than her in a speech competition we entered together, though.
And don’t get me started comparing my academics to my older brother, Ben. We both got 5s on AP calculus and biology. 4s on AP US history. ACT scores are the same, but he got one point higher on his first try. We both had double majors. I think my cumulative college GPA (3.95) is better than his. But he’s probably smarter than me anyway.
Yeah. Anyway. I’m digressing.
The point in all this is that when I was in school, I wanted to be the best. I wanted to be the smartest.
And now that I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I can NEVER be the smartest. There are millions of people who are smarter than me.
So I read this article, “Always in the Middle“, by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, who says:
Beginnings are times for making resolutions, for creating plans, for bursts of energy. Endings are times for winding down and may involve feelings of completion or loss. But with the proper outlook, considering ourselves as in the middle of things can help us not only to understand life a little better but also to live it a little more meaningfully.
That has to do more with time, but I think it can be applied to a lot more. I can never be the best at something; someone will always be better, and someone will probably always be worse off too. Someone is smarter; someone is not quite as smart. Someone will always have more than me; someone will always have less.
There’s no point in trying to be the best. Life happens in the middle, in the journey instead of the destination. So while I try to excel at what I do, I’m okay realizing that I can achieve the best of myself, instead of trying to be better than everyone else.