WHEN YOU ARE NOT THE SMARTEST IN THE ROOM
This evening, my computer crushed; and if you know anything about this, you know that it is the worst experience and/or feeling on earth. Worse than when you knock your knuckles against the edge of the table or when you burn your tongue with hot porridge, but that is totally debatable.
So in the middle of all of that I happen to stare really hard at nothing in particular and my mind started to wander about. Mind you this was my second day in office. Do not judge me! My excuse is I was not really very busy at the time. Anyway in the middle of my hard "earned" stare and lost in thought it just hit me-I am not the smartest in the room-literally!
I was born and raisedin a pretty decent family (and I cannot complain).I was led to think and believe that I am good at everything and that no one could compare. You know those mums who encourage their kids to be athletes and tell them how great they are and that one day they could be Usain Bolt yet watching them in a race is like watching grass grow? My parents are sort of that type. They say it is a form of instilling self esteem in a child. (I don’t know how true this is for I am no expert) I love my parents for that because my self esteem is at a pretty good level But seriously folks! Why do you do this to us and then let the world "teach" us much, much later that we are not actually the best in everything. Harsh realities! Huh?
Let me give a little background of where this feeling is coming from.
So recently I happen to be posted with a top notch venture capital firm in India that focuses on social impact and I thought to myself what could really go wrong? Indeed nothing. It was the perfect fit. Kind of like finding the right shoe size! (If you experience shoe bites then you know what I mean here)
Then it just hit me! Almost everyone had done their MBA from an Ivy League school, some had done two. Maybe apart from the delivery guy, who is so smart, sometimes I think he actually pursed an MBA.
Everyone here has extremely diversified experiences, including this particular delivery guy. You could ask anyone about anything, from the food industry to money markets to the clothing industry to what is trending and they would almost always have an instant right answer Travelling around the world pursuing their passions and fighting for what they believed in, is something they do on a daily routine. To add to that, everyone spoke right! You know those people who can sustain intelligent conversations for a long time and manage to keep it interesting? These are the people I am talking about! They know what to say, when to say it and to whom to say it to.
So here I am. Almost very freshly graduated like seven or say eight months ago. I graduated from a university that does not rank among the highest 10 in the world but a good school none the less. My experience is almost negligible if you compare it to those of the people sitting in this room. And unlike them I can't boast of being well traveled. Clearly I do not fall in the same league.
However, do not confuse this as me looking down on myself or being sympathetic about my situation. Far from it! Trust me I have lots to offer, but that is beside the point I want to make now. The way I see it, I get to hang around people who I can constantly keep learning from; whether socially or otherwise.
It is a very unfortunate scenario if you always find yourself being the smartest in the room and my advice to you would be- You need new friends!
You should be a person who is willing to learn from others and grow beyond what your mind can fathom. The growth of the mind is key and it does not come from just reading and pumping knowledge into your head but from not being the smartest and letting other people teach you.
I agree with what Albert Einstein once said; if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life forever thinking it is a fool. So never compare yourself with any other person and maintain your individuality. But the good thing about intelligent people is that they have mastered the art of knowing where, how and what button to press so that they can get the best out of you.
Lesson here is, never find yourself being the smartest in the room!