Why Am I So Lame?

boy measuring his height

Dear Diary,

Yesterday, I watched Sound of My Voice, a movie about a couple that attempts to infiltrate and expose a cult. Halfway through the film, the leader asked one of the non-believers,

Why are you so lame?

Immediately, I asked myself the same question: Why was I so lame? Why had I failed at virtually everything that I’d tried to do? Why??

A Lifetime of Unfair Comparisons

comparing yourself to others
In the shower the next morning, it hit me: I’d spent my entire life going through the vicious cycle of comparing myself to the best and then outlining all of the ways that I was inferior to them. Philip was smarter, Jacob was faster, Leslie was a genius. Heck, Shawn beat me on the sociology exam and he didn’t even have to study.

To be fair, when drawing my comparisons, I had my heart in the right place. I figured that if I could find out what I was missing in terms of knowledge, skills, and abilities, I could plug the necessary holes in my game. Makes sense, no?

Unfortunately, instead of focusing on changing for the better, what I was actually doing was affirming my own supposed weaknesses – over, and over, and over again. Furthermore, I was creating a model of perfection that I had no chance of ever becoming.

A Serendipitous Referral (and Outage)

Later on that day, I was referred to Michael Palmer, a life coach. Now, I wasn’t looking for a life coach. Rather, I was trying to find an Account Executive to sell software for a client of mine!

One thing lead to another, and we eventually started talking about my own goals. I told him that my heart lay in becoming a killer stand-up, and he suggested that I read a book called Three Simple Steps by Trevor Blake, who built and sold a company with zero employees for one hundred million dollars.

The next day, Toronto went through a massive power outage. As it turned out, my electricity wouldn’t return for another seven days, but I didn’t mind one bit! I had a book to keep me company.

Life’s funny, isn’t it?

Three Simple Stepsthree simple steps

Long story short, here’s what I learned:

  • Something comes from Nothing. They say all great things begin with an idea. True enough, but Trevor argues that all great ideas come from nothing. Therefore, in order to have great ideas, we must invest in silent time so that we can create the conditions required for insight. It might sound a bit kooky, but it’s actually based in sound research on creativity.
  • Pull vs. Push. Think and Grow Rich says that a white hot burning desire attracts what we want into our lives. Dr. Robert Anthony contends that belief is the cause. Still others cite the track record of goal-setting in bringing about the change we seek. They are all correct, but I was missing a critical piece of the puzzle.
  • An intention [rather,] is a goal but with all doubt about its attainment removed. Baby steps are not needed because there is no doubt about getting what we desire. Instead of creeping toward it, we can simply sit back and let it come running to us. The main difference, therefore, between intentions and goals is direction of effort. With goals, we push energy toward the object. With intentions, we attract the object to us. – Trevor Blake

I realized that my method of drawing comparisons in order to be the best was flawed. After all, you can’t win a race by matching the pace of the front runner. At a certain point, the best become the best because they do things differently.

Oh That’s Right – I’m The Shit

During my initial conversation with Michael Palmer, I told him that I’d never been the best and about how much that hurt. After reading Three Simple Steps, I started to remember all of the times where I actually had been the best, i.e.

  • In high school, I won the Law award, Business award, and numerous scholarships. In fact, I turned down a full scholarship to one of the leading business schools in the nation (Schulich).
  • I became the Director of an IT company when I was 24 while completing university on the side, something none of my peers dared attempt.
  • I’ve been publicly endorsed by successful comedians who’ve been in the game for over ten years. I’ve done slew of big shows at major venues and also happen to author the most popular comedy blog in Toronto (This Week In Comedy for blogTO).

Long story short, I’m the shit, and you know what? You are, too. We were born for greatness, and don’t let anyone, especially your blathering mind, tell you otherwise.


About Michael Jagdeo

My name's Michael Jagdeo, and I refuse to write about myself in the third person. I'm a Comedian from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In addition to honing my stand-up comedy act, I maintain this blog and write the weekly comedy article for blogTO.com.
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