Why I hope I'm never the smartest person anywhere
Why I hope I'm never the smartest person anywhere

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The other night while watching some playoff hockey, JF and I saw an advertisement for a game show called “Canada’s Smartest Person”. I haven’t seen the show so I can only presume it is a trivia and challenge show intended to test different types of intelligence, the prize being both money and bragging rights of being deemed the “smartest” (by a Canadian game show anyways, but that fact might remain unsaid).

Who wouldn’t want to win that?

We’re obsessed with being the best.

The smartest.

The fastest.

The richest.

Our world has “est-itis”, a terminal and extremely contagious disease that will not only suck the enjoyment from your life, it will keep you from growing to your full potential.

How can we keep from catching it? We have to be vigilant. Starting from a young age we have to be aware of the presence of est-itis, teaching our kids that they hold value no matter where they sit in comparison to others.

Speaking of comparisons, they have to stop. You are not that person. So just stop pretending that you should do what they’re doing.

Stop it right now.

Yes, they are awesome/impressive/inspirational.

So are you.

So how can we live in a way that allows us to remain humble, stop comparing, and strive for excellence?

What if we willingly went places where we knew we wouldn’t be the smartest one there?

What if we deliberately started conversations with people we felt we had nothing in common with?

What if we lived each day not like we had something to share but like we had something to learn?

What if we made choices not because they made us feel confident but because we were insecure and wanted to create change?

I don’t have the answers to these questions, in fact, that’s kind of the point. Not having all the answers and being ok with admitting it.  One surefire way to stunt growth is to decide that you already know it all.  It can be hard to find the humility to acknowledge that no, we actually don’t know everything there is to learn (don’t you feel better already?).  Once we begin to live like we are students again we can then see that every person we meet, every place we go and every experience we have has something to teach us.  I’ve seen amazing things happen in my life as I begin to realize that I have more to learn than to teach.

So here I am, declaring that I, Cheryl E. Moreau, am not the smartest person, and I’m pretty proud of it!

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