Not being ‘good enough’ but still being ‘better than the rest’

I’m a firm believer of “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Yes, everybody has a different breaking point and triggers. And yes, we should be emphatic towards others ‘cause we don’t know what they’re going through.

Ok, to avoid being judged as an insensitive asshole, I’ll try to be be more precise.

Let’s say, high performance professional athletes. People at the top of the game. Out of hundreds of thousands of athletes around the world, only a few elite hundreds get selected to play at the big show. I’m talking about private clubs and teams with thousands of people on their payroll and millions of followers.

You worked all your life to get there, made all types of sacrifices (although some of them were just blessed by the natural talent gods or very very rich parents, but that’s another conversation), practically didn’t have a normal life because all you did was live, train and rest since you were a child. 

Now you’re in your early 20’s and the big contract landed. You have been selected, and are now at the lowest tier of the elite. Prove that you’re actually better than some of your peers, and you’re eventually getting a call that ends in moving to another country, to another team and earning millions of dollars.

Congratulations! You have made it. You realize your dream of entering the competition. The majority of people don’t even get a chance to prove their worth, let alone getting paid millions.

What is expected of you? Results. Simple as that.

You became an asset, and are being paid to:

A) Win
B) Generate profits
C) Maintain a consistent performance
C) All of the above.

It’s a hard, strict and stressful life. No one denies that. (Even when you have a week or two off, and go out to a private beach on a yacht somewhere in the Mediterranean.) But come on… People would kill to achieve a fraction of what you have done at this point.

So the problem is this.

You are a, let say, striker (football). They’re paying you a humble amount of $2 millions a year to do your job, which is to score goals.

If you don’t produce results, then you’re put on the spot. 
If you still don’t produce results, then you’re given a chance. 
And if after all that you are still not producing results, then you’re out.

You always hear the same things after the axe drops:

“Oh, he was so talented.”
“Oh, we had very high hopes for him.”
“Oh, he was gonna be next XXX.”

In my opinion: 

Either the stars weren’t aligned for you and you simply had good old fashioned bad luck on the field, or you didn’t want it enough, didn’t have THE drive, THE hunger to win.

You see it all the time. Young promises breaking down under the pressure and losing their careers. Yes, it’s sad, especially if you developed some kind of connection with the athlete. BUT, we, the fans, follow a certain team. We want our team to win or at least give everything out there. We cannot accept mediocrity, SPECIFICALLY when you’re being paid millions to do a job: perform.

Hey, there can only be one #1. That’s the main rule.
You can’t win all the time. That’s the second rule.
Always give 100%. That’s the universal rule.


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