Be A Big Fish In A Big Pond
"Do you want to be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond?"
It was time to pick a team and in doing so choose the university I’d be attending for the next four years. The coach of a small school with a division two track and field team was trying to convince me to join the ranks of his beloved athletes. He made me out to be a star that would be well-loved and nurtured in the close-knit community he fostered.
I was not convinced. Firstly, I had no delusions of grandeur when it came to my future in track and field. Although it fed my competitive spirit, I was by no means Olympic material and I didn’t want to be. What I wanted was a degree for as cheap as I could possibly get it. More importantly, I have always been a big fish, no matter the size of the pond. I have never considered myself the most beautiful, intelligent, or talented. To be brutally honest I’m not even the most hard-working, but I have been trained–raised to thrive under any circumstance.
My mother taught me not only to think highly of myself but to act in a manner that aligns with that thinking. This is not to say that I was taught to be conceited or self-righteous, but to walk with my head held high and to speak assertively. I have countless stories of beating out more talented people at things I should not have been successful at. Time after time with the odds stacked against me, I have won. This is where I learned to always bet on myself.
A star is still a star even in the presence of the moon and together both the moon and the stars light up the night sky. The same is true for people. Keeping the company of people you deem more intelligent, talented, or hardworking than you will not dim your light. It will inspire you, challenge you, and drive you towards success.
So be a big fish in a big pond. I promise you will not be eaten where there is room for growth.