Who Knew That Greatness Was Outside My Reach Since I Was Nine Years Old

I’ve been wearing glasses since 4th grade, when I was nine years old. The reason for needing the glasses was (and still is) nearsightedness.

At first, I was embarrassed to wear them, but at this point, they have become part of who I am. My glasses are the first thing I put on in the morning and the last thing I take off at night. One of my biggest fears is losing or breaking my glasses, since I would be quite helpless without them. When I go on vacation, I always bring a second pair.

I’ve always thought of my glasses as something that helped get me through the day, helped me get my work done, helped me get from point A to point B.

Well now, thanks to Dan Pink, my world has been turned upside down.

Pink is one of my favorite authors, having written the bestsellers When, Drive, and A Whole New Mind, among others.

I just came across this quote of Pink’s:

greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible“.

Imagine my shock at reading such a statement. Even though I haven’t achieved greatness, I always thought there was still at least an outside chance. Now I find out that genetically it’s not possible, and it’s been that way since birth.

So much for studying hard, working hard, trying to do things the right way, having a positive outlook. None of that mattered; my bad eyesight had predestined me for a life of mediocrity.

But there is hope. At my last eye doctor’s appointment, the doctor said that I would soon need cataract surgery. One of the benefits of such surgery is that it has the same effect as Lasik surgery; my nearsightedness would be corrected.

So maybe I should schedule that surgery while I still have a shot at greatness.

Wait. Hold on a second.

My wife just told me I didn’t read the Dan Pink quote in its entirety:

Greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible. Meaningful achievement depends on lifting one’s sights and pushing toward the horizon.

So it’s a motivational quote; it has nothing to do with one’s actual eyesight.

But now when I read it this way, I think I actually feel worse.

Now I have no excuse for not having achieved greatness.

I guess I can hold off on that cataract surgery for a while.

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