My favorite quote of all time is by one of the most influential people of the 20th century, the late Steve Jobs.
“Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you” — Steve Jobs
That is a very powerful idea when you start to think about what it means. We tend to go through life with the assumption that everyone that is more successful than us is more successful because he/she is smarter, richer, or luckier than we are. In reality, most people, are on the same level in terms of cognitive ability. What seems to vary from person to person is the innate drive to succeed and the differing levels of self-confidence. What you have to realize is that most people you see or hear about are people that are no smarter than you are. Though there are some with better opportunities due to different socioeconomic situations, with a lot of perseverance you can get to where you want to be in life. It is about being confident in yourself and never losing the will to succeed.
You are convinced you won’t succeed before you even try.
The single biggest reason people don’t get to where they want in their lives or their careers is from the lack of ever trying to be better. Many people talk about working for their dream company or starting their own business. Most, however, are convinced that they won’t ever be able to reach their goals, so why even bother trying?
If you never try, you won’t ever succeed. It is the fear of failure that holds people back. You have to fail before you succeed, and you can’t fail, or succeed, without first trying.
I was talking with a student the other day who has been looking for internships and wants to intern at Google. He was talking about how it would be his dream come true. When I asked him if he had applied to Google he told me no because he felt that his GPA was not good enough. He convinced himself before even sending the application that he wouldn’t get a chance. He can never know without trying.
Don’t let others tell you that you can’t do it.
The only person standing in the way of your success is you. Other people who feel threatened by your potential success will try to put you down and prevent you from accomplishing your goals. Too many people allow others to convince them of their own abilities and start to believe what they hear.
You are the only person that can guarantee your own success or failure. Take others’ opinions with a grain of salt and come to your own conclusions. In the end, you will thank yourself for doing what you thought was right, and not what you thought would make someone else happy.
Ask yourself if you will regret your decision on your deathbed.
I was once talking with an older man who told me that while he was in college he was asked to try out for the New York Jets as their punter. Coming from a very traditional background, his family thought he was crazy for even considering it and discouraged him. Respecting his family as much as he did, he believed that what they were saying was true. When the time for the try out came around, he was busy working through the night with his family that he didn’t have the heart to defy.
This, he told me, has become one of his biggest regrets in life. He loved football and missed an opportunity to have made it a potential career.
Before you decide that you don’t want to try something, ask yourself a simple question.
When you are on your deathbed reflecting on your life, will you regret not trying? If the answer is yes, then despite what anyone else says, try. You may fail, but at least you can go on with the rest of your life knowing that you tried.
We are all born with the potential to do amazing things in the world. What differentiates those who do great things from those who don’t is the belief that one can or cannot do something. Everyone’s life situation is different, and that is by no means fair, but countless people have beat the odds and done amazing things in this world because they knew that they could.
You can too.
If you are trying to join a company to intern at this summer that is doing great things, be sure to check out We Intern Tech (https://weintern.tech). We are an internship job board focused on technology companies that are doing amazing things in the world. New internships are posted daily, or you could join our mailing list to receive a weekly digest of the internships posted each week.