Sunday, April 11, 2010

When You Can't Reach for the Stars

There comes a time in our lives when we realize that we will never become the president of the United States, or the Nobel-prize winning scientist, or the world-famous movie star. The dreams that we once dreamed of during our childhood oftentimes vanish wistfully like a mirage as we trod our ways to adulthood. And we wonder in vain, why, then, did the grown-ups tell us that we can become anything that we dream of or to keep our dreams alive? They probably were ahead of us to realize that at one point in our lives reality simply wakes us up. And what is it about reality that makes us give up some parts of our dreams? Among many reasons that I was able to come up with, one dominant one that hit me really hard was the fact that there are better people in the world than me. Jonah Lehrer posted an interesting theory about superstar effect which is a form of mental collapse that people experience when they encounter someone who is simply too perfect to the point where there is no competition. In his blog, an example of superstar was the world-renowned golfer, Tiger Woods. However, we see superstar effect in every sector of our lives. Ever heard of beautiful and smart cheerleader in high school who was adored by everyone? I think the superstar effect has more crippling effect on the others when there is a perfect combination of beauty, smarts and good personality--when that person has everything one can wish for. I honestly do not know how to overcome this effect. The question is what if you just can't reach for that stars? Should you simply be happy with the travel to the star? Maybe, then, it is time to express your extent of positive psychology that I blogged about before. In the view of the Universe, your travel to your pined-for star is just as beautiful and just as shiny and just as small as one among a billion stars among billions of galaxies that it holds.

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