Warning: Rant Ahead

Posted: October 15, 2008 in Lessons

“You can do anything if you set your mind to it.”


Now you sure can’t do much if you DON’T set your mind on something, but the opposite is simply a lie.

Realizing this mantra is a myth is particularly distressing since I’ve banked most of my life on it. You’d think the fallacy was apparent since I never did play shortstop for the Cardinals, but somehow I’ve managed to fool myself all along. I’m still struggling because of it.

Pepperdine School of Law has risen to its highest national ranking, and I am part of the most academically qualified class in school history. Which really sucks since law school is competitive. On my good days, I may be middle of the road here. There are other days.

Many said there would be advantages in being an older law student. True, except for all the disadvantages. Many said I’d be fine because I am smart. You probably see the problem with that line of reasoning.

The problem with banking life on the lie that “you can do anything you set your mind to” is that you feel like a failure when you discover anything less. Should’ve tried harder. Not enough faith. Crappy thoughts like that, when the truth is that you have based your pursuit on a lie.

There’s another option, too, one I typically prefer. Justification. Being a professional athlete wouldn’t be that great after all – I’m glad I’m not one. Who really wants to be the top law student anyway – arguing over grammatical choices in LRW memos is a rather silly concept, isn’t it?

Justification feels much better than beating yourself up. Believe me, I’ve tried both. But the problem remains in either case: if you base your life on a lie, you are bound to be faced with the same choices time and again.

Here’s something I think is much more truthful: whether you’re a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond you are still the same size fish. And shooting to be the biggest fish in the world is a fool’s game that isn’t worth playing.

Rant over.

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