Advice for Underachievers


Why am I feeling so frustrated all the time? I’m smarter and more informed than 90% of the people around me, and yet I am average in my achievements. I’m not sure why that bothers me when I’m aware that in the end we will all end up in a coffin.

There are several parts to this.

> I am smarter and more informed than 90% of the surrounding me people

First of all this is is probably unlikely. There’s probably selection bias at play here. You notice whenever people around you do dumb things, but you don’t notice when you’re the dumb one.

Second – even if this is true, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you will achieve great things. Achieving great things doesn’t actually require you to be in the top 10% of smartest and best-informed people. About top 30% is probably good enough. The difference between people who accomplish things and people who don’t is (mostly) grit.

> The problem is that i am not sure why that bothers me when i am awear that in the end we will all end up in a coffin

The main factor here is usually social conditioning. You probably wouldn’t care if you were the only person alive. You most likely care precisely because you hold on to the hypothesis that you’re an underachieving smart guy wasting his potential.

You could let go of the hypothesis and start over, but you’re likely attached to it because it makes you feel good about yourself in some way.

This is how people get trapped on ‘local minimas’ – if you want to achieve great things, you’re going to have to do some difficult and uncomfortable things .Things that make you look and feel pretty dumb. You’re probably not comfortable with that, and so you (statistically speaking) are most probably going to lead a mediocre life to the coffin.

It doesn’t really matter, anyway. We’re all welcome to our illusions.

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