Tiger Woods started playing golf at age 2. H.P. Lovecraft wrote long poems at age 5. Wolfie Mozart did his first composition at age 6. Pablo Picasso painted Picador at age 8. Blaise Pascal wrote a treatise on vibrating bodies at age 9. Jean Piaget published a paper on the albino sparrow at age 11. Bobby Fischer won the U.S. Chess Championship at age 14.
Can we all agree these people are/were freaks? I mean, really, talk about setting the bar too frickin' high for the rest of us. Talk about messing up the curve. Talk about pressure!
Nobody expects you to be a success at 2. If you're getting your sippy cup to your mouth at 2, that's worthy of applause! In fact, knowing some of you as I do, that's still a pretty darn good accomplishment!
Ah, 2... Those were the days, hm? Your meals provided for you. None of that having to microwave your own ramen, gosh darn it. Anybody else remember the Gerber's Spaghetti and Meatballs? Mmmmm. But I regress.
The thing is, at 2, we know what is exceptional. As we do at 12. Even at 22, we have some markers. But at 32? 42? 52? Things get fuzzier. When we're little, we're told we can do anything with our lives. The sky's the limit. So, we all dream of being extraordinary in some way, right? Even if we aren't precocious.
And this leads to the question of the day: By what age do you think you need to be successful? Or, alternately, at what age do you say, well, I haven't done anything extraordinary yet, so I guess I won't?
07 September 2009