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.