The Spectator

For the first time… you simply buy a ticket and go see a movie….

 

For the first time… you don’t plan you just sit and watch…

 

This new role observer, spectator… number fan…

 

Sit back… relax … and enjoy the success of those around you… let the spotlight be filled with new potential.

Think of it not as the calm before the storm…. not as your new beginning…

This time.. is not about you…..

revel in the anonymity………. celebrate another….

 

 

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Step by step…..

When you learn to crawl… its a big achievement… when you learn to walk its even bigger.. then you learn to run and you never stop moving…

 

I learnt to climb before I could walk…. dont ask me why but I was almost wanting to get somewhere higher and to see things from a different perspective I guess.

All my life I have been climbing, running and walking.. flipping and jumping… at a pace that many people failed to understand…ahead of the pact.. at the 

Many broken bones and various ailments couldnt keep me down….

…………but recently…. i’ve stopped .. my pace has moved to to a slow and steady crawl… I feel like everyone else is passing me by and leaving me in the dust….

 

its a frustrating place to be .. but here’s hoping that its just giving me perspective on the rat race of life…

 

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The frustration of success… or lack there of

The worst feeling is being stuck… having nothing to work towards… lacking the motivation…

 

You sit around and watch people around you.. moving on with life.. doing great things.. living dreams that you once had. Where does that leave you …. at a desk… locked away in the prison you have created in your mind. 

The footprints and paths that you had once forged for yourself have washed away and can no longer be seen. The disappeared with your motivation.

You feel like you no longer know how..

——-how to make a difference

——— how to be passionate

———— how to want more 

 

The complacency that has take over your being.. makes you look in the mirror and not recognize the person looking back…

There is no longer joy in the sleepless nights that you used to toil and work as inspiration and passion flowed through your mind and fingertips… 

You constantly re-evaluate your self-worth and whether everything you worked towards was no longer relevant….the greatness that surrounds you no longer motivates but pushes you down a darker tunnel of jealousy and self doubt….

 

 

Iconic Overachievers

Now, let’s look at the quintiessential overachievers that have graced our media manipulated lives! Feel free to add suggestions for more and I’ll keep making the list! Figure out who you relate to the most!

Lisa Simpson

Lisa Simpson

  • Second child of three siblings
  • Highly Intelligent
  • Vegetarian
  • Buddhist
  • Plays saxophone
  • Feminist
  • Suffers dramatically when not being praised
Analysis: The essence of Lisa’s character  is that she is a misfit in not only society but her family. She worries that the “Simpson” gene will make her less intelligent (Wikipedia). This makes us then revisit the nature versus nurture argument. Lisa is the “odd one out” in her family but still excels.
To learn more about Lisa check her out on Wikipedia

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Hermione Granger

Hermione Granger

  • Only child of “Muggle” Parents- in the Wizarding world- muggle and mediocre are synonymous
  • Highly intelligent
  • Oversubscribed to classes
  • Top of her class
  • Know- it – all
  • Fear of Failure
Analysis: Similar to Lisa, Hermione comes from a mediocre family and yet still manages to excel. She has this innate gift and knack for learning. We explore another side to the nature/nurture debate with Hermione. She was born with the “magical” powers, despite the fact that both her parents are muggle born and is put into a school where she can help develop these powers. Both Hermione and Lisa fit the mould of being “Born this way” but with no genetic predisposition.

Nature or Nurture- Are we born to achieve?

Now to the the age old argument?

Are we as Lady Gaga says “Born this way”?

So here’s my story:

I was born to a middle-class nuclear family in the “third-world”. Premature by an undetermined time (medicine wasnt was it is these days) Did my drive start since the womb? I mean I kicked my way out early.My parents were both University graduates from prestigious North American universities. My older brother was a regular child too just like me. We were exposed to everything from camping to culture and cuisine that you wouldn’t expect your typical baby to be eating. We began travelling before we could walk and within the first 3 years of life visited more countries than many people see in a lifetime. After brief stint in the developed world of Canada, we settled back in the developing world- both my parents had good jobs and we were given house and car and my brother and I were placed in one of the country’s top preparatory schools. Prior to entering school, I was placed in a Pre-school where I was ahead of my class- they would give me the newspaper to read in order to keep me occupied. My brother who was also ahead of the game, so much so he got bored with menial tasks that were given to the other children in class and either made up his own or decided to help the other kids-whether by force or coercion.

Mental Moment :

How much is genetic predisposition an attribute to achievement? Do overachievers only come from families that overachieve? In the process of natural selection, as the strongest genes get passed down to the newer generation are those who come from sterotypically successful parents destined to be successful? Does that mean persons who dont come from fortunate circumstances have to work harder to be successful?

Back to businesss…..

During my years in school I was involved in everything. Swim team, dance, piano, choir, outreach groups. From a very young age I emerged a “leader” – I was either First or second place in my class academically. At the annual prizegiving, I always won prizes for French or Dance, and my annual report card always had good grades- except for handwriting. My parents always let us try whatever we wanted to try, I wanted to dance so I began ballet at the age of 4. My brother played every sport available. Neither of us were necessarily the best, but we were pretty good at everything we did. We both held distinctions for Piano and for me in Ballet and my brother was even awarded as Deputy Head Boy of our Preparatory School and a full scholarship to high school.

High school proved no different for me. I became President of a club upon entering, started organizations, was a prefect, continued with ballet and musical theatre and still remained academically sound. I assumed I was the typical teenager, with the hormones leading to fleeting love interests, temper tantrums and moodiness, but it never seemed to affect my drive.  It didn’t help that I was placed in a school that was highly competitive. I sat in the same chair as many great men/women who had passed through the gates and gone on to make their mark on the world. What was it about the water, or the non-de-script bun that we all consumed that made us hungry to make a difference?

Mental Moment: 

Parents fought tooth and nail to get their children into specific high schools. Similarly, certain preparatory schools were feeder schools to specific high schools. Do we push to surround ourselves with people who have this sense of achievement? Does it form an individuals perspectives and motives to be immersed in environments that promote excellence? Can an individual excel if not in these environments?

By the age of 17, I had visited over 10 different countries, was adequate in 3 languages, had organized national events and represented the country in regional scholastic competitions. I assumed I had a social life, as I frequented the sweet 16s and parties that my peers attended. My parents had given up on a bedtime at a relatively early age and so I had mastered the art of all-nighters. I had taught myself the art of sponsorship letters, using computer design tools and was very quick at figuring out how to navigate the computer and internet.

After high school, well just before upper 6th(13th grade), I decided to go on an adventure. I was awarded a scholarship to the Mahindra United World College of India for 2 years pursuing the International Baccaleareate. This school  (group of schools) prides itself of fostering leadership and creating global awareness

“The striking thing about UWC is that they embrace the entire world across all divides of race, history, culture, wealth, religion, economic status and political belief: they are unique and they are conscious of their responsibilities.” ——-Nelson Mandela, Honorary President

What better school to attend to incubate the already festering disease of overachievement. These schools took the cream of the crop from rigorous national selections done throughout the world and put them to live together for 2 years!  For these 2 years, I shared Maggi Noodles with friends from Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Maldives. Learnt to bargain in Hindi, slept on train floors, saw the Taj Mahal and Mount Everest. I directed and choreographed a musical, flew to the Netherlands for a Tsunami release conference, taught aerobics, learnt Bharatnatyam. I can curse in 10 languages, learnt about first hand about Palestinian/Israeli conflict from both sides, discovered that the Maldives exists and doesnt have dogs. Also, Hirsoshima and Nagasaki are NOT types of Sushi!!!

The IB system required community service as a component which in some essences forced us all into a mould of becoming these global citizens who can/will change the world!

If I was ever an overachiever- this experience made me at the top of my game!!

I was then given a full scholarship to a North American university! How much better can I get! I was on the road to success.

Handbrake:

Looking at all the elements combined above- the stable family; good, encouraging parents; world class institutions; Has the world always been in my favour? Was it always just good timing or was this a prenatal disposition that I was doomed to have?

This whole thing may make me seem super self-centered! You may have already started to hate me and become angry but the truth is I”m trying to understand what my life has led me to, why my life has taken me down this path.

Share your experiences, thoughts, words of inspiration and even hate mail! It will help me if there are other out there like me. SOS.

The Dissection of an Overachiever

To really understand those like me and well me as a whole we need to understand what an overachiever really is!!

According to Wikipedia (our default be-all end all source for information)

Overachievers are individuals who “perform better or achieve more success than expected.” [1]The implicit presumption is that the “overachiever” is achieving superior results through excessive effort. In a teaching context, an “overachiever” is an educational label applied to students, who perform better than their peers when normalized for the instructor’s perceptions of background, intelligence or talent. In the workplace context, individuals who are deemed to be overachievers are those with the drive to complete tasks above and beyond expectations and who set very high career goals for themselves.

Valid?? Yep pretty good summary…but this makes us(me) seem like an extremely self-centered, anti-social, introvert who thrives on competition and has an easily bruised ego.

FACT: My ego is bruised easily! But whose isnt. The human ego is a very fragile thing which succumbs to constant wear by the reinforcement of negative stereotypes and criticisms by the universe.

FACT: All humans are self centred. Correction: Western society teaches self-centered values. It’s a dog-eat-dog world and if you dont fend for yourself no one will fend for you! At least in this part of the world.

FACT: Humans are social beings and thrive on social interaction. Although some extreme cases may exist, even the most introverted of individuals engage in social interaction of some form. Look at Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory…. even he enjoys socialisation!

Sheldon-Big Bang Theory
SOCIAL BEINGS!!

Now for what I consider qualities of an overachiever— (this is based on a compilation of random interviews with random friends)

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THE SYMPTOMS 

  • A deep passion for something or many things
  • Drive and determination
  • Difficulty declining additional workload- No limits!
  • Unsatisfied no matterwhat
  • Uncontrollable urge to get involved
  • Suffers from difficulty doing nothing
  • Deep yearning to do something more
  • Highly emotional about passions
  • Difficulty sleeping peacefully due to the constant swimming of ideas
  • Unsettled with mediocrity
Have you noticed any of these symptoms in yourself or those around you? Well in my opinion, you suffer from  OVERACHIEVER-ITIS
BE WARNED!
There is no cure for this!
This is something I’ve been battling all my life. It carries implications through all areas of your life; social, academic, familial.
Is this a disease in the true sense? This is what I seek to discover over the following weeks.
Are overachivers doomed to suffer from anxiety and discontent their whole lives?
Is the title overachiever a bad thing? Is it a cop out for people to describe someone who is doing well?
Does the term OVERachiever carry negative connotations in society?
What is the epitome of Overachievement?
SO MANY questions!!! All I know is… I am an OVERACHIEVER and I choose to wear the title.