The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and miss it, but that it is too low and we hit it. – Michelangelo
Michelangelo was certainly a guy who aimed high. He was so proficient in so many areas! Of course his most famous work today is probably the Sistine Chapel ceiling. His quote here is as true today as it was in his days (1475 – 1564).
My father, God rest his soul, just didn’t know how to aim high. He drifted from one low paying job to another. He just had no confidence in his abilities. He just never aimed high. But, then again at the age of thirty-three he was abandoned by his wife and left to raise a ten-year old and a seven-year old on his own. Looking back at those years of my life I can’t imagine how I could have accomplished what he did.
Unfortunately like father like son, my early years were also spent with little self-confidence. I later found that I had a pretty high IQ (top 2%), but I didn’t realize I had as much potential as I did. I knew that I took life much more seriously than most of the other kids my age. I knew that I read much more than other kids. But I just didn’t know I had it in my to do great things. It wasn’t until well into college before I began to aim higher but even then my aims were just too low. I wished someone had taken me under their wing and help me gain confidence and raise my aim.
If you want to make your mark on this world the best advice I can give you is to be a mentor to someone who has yet unrealized potential. I certainly hope all you parents out there are doing that but this should not be limited to just people who are fortunate enough to have children. Help them to aim high in their lives. I guess that is what many teachers do but they have little time to spend on each of their students they need help.
There are so many kids out there that just don’t yet have the confidence to aim high in their lives. I wonder how many Michelangelo’s there are out there who may never blossom if someone doesn’t encourage them. These next generations will be faced with some very serious challenges in life. Things like partisan politics shaking our country’s foundations, global warming threatening our planet, hunger and poverty throughout the world. We need all those with great potential to get the encouragement they need to aim high.