I wrote this post as a comment in response to Jordan Cooper's original post, entitled: Full of Potential = Full of Shit….
Little Story: I went to Catholic school my whole life. My sophomore English teacher was this awesome redheaded old lady named Ms Callahan. Her job, as she saw it, was as much about making us into men and shaping our character as it was teaching us to read and write. She taught us her own tweaked version of Kolhberg’s 6 stages of moral development, the details of which I’ve forgotten, except for one: Honor. Being honor-driven is about seeking recognition from society and your peers. The problem with honor is that it depends on the whims and perceptions of others, which are inherently fickle and are based on impressions not necessarily correlated to anything substantive. It’s not what you’re talking about exactly, but it’s related…
As I see it, the problem with your line of reasoning is that (at least as the post reads) is the that the measure you’re using to judge yourself and your life––the goal post, as it were––is other people’s visible “accomplishments.” Fuck that.
But first, a diatribe: The system for people like us who go to these fancy schools and are fast tracked to enter the elite/ruling class of society encourages precisely this kind of thinking. In school, you get grades, you please the teacher/professor/TA/etc. We’re trained like little monkeys to jump through the hoops and get into Ivy League School X and then get hotshot internship Y and then move along to prestigious job Z (cough *ibanking*). Each accomplishment is a badge of honor that you use to measure yourself against others and thus determine your worth. David Brooks wrote a great article about this phenomenon called “The Organization Kid.” Read it: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200104/brooks
The problem with the whole fucking system is that it leads even smart fucking people like yourself to look around, compare yourself and say “Shit, this whole race is fucking hopeless. I’m fucked.” Which, by the way, it is; and if you judge yourself on that measure, you are.
But the thing is, at the end of the day, it’s not about fucking Chris Hughes or fucking Mark Zuckerberg or whatever other genius you want to compare yourself to. There will always be someone smarter/stronger/better faster. The game is rigged, my man. Don’t play it!
The real question is: Who are you? Did you pursue your dreams? Do you love being alive? Are you the person, the goddamn human being you want to be? Is this the fucking life you want to live? Or is it a fucking game you’re playing to impress people and live up to what you think the world expects from you?
Now, I’m just a dude trying to make it like everyone else, but in my opinion, these are the questions you should be asking, reflecting upon and wrestling with. It’s hard game, but at least it’s one you can win.