I appreciate the distinction made by yourself and Ms. Musk. Outliers; those one-in-a-million geniuses (literally), people who have extraordinary vision, obsession, and creativity, are not the norm. They do not exist in the world where drive, determination, serendipity, and effort sometimes pays off with success.

(I am hoping that Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is proving himself worthy of wearing the mantle of Steven Sondheim, Richard Rogers, Andrew Lloyd Weber, et al lives a fairly normal long, happy, creative, and wildly successful life. A dash of normal doesn’t hurt. Witness Tom Hanks.)

I tell my students that comparing oneself to anyone is an instant loss, both because that other person may have skills you don’t yet possess and because comparisons signal a lack of belief in yourself. Beyond that, making a comparison to Elon, Steve, Richard, or Robin is completely lunatic. If a person were the next Oprah, Einstein, or Steve, you can be fairly certain he or she would not be making any comparisons of that kind.

The question then becomes, to what extent can a person in the middle of the Bell Curve of Humanity aspire, evolve, and achieve at his or her highest possible level. That realm is where columns like this one, TED Talks, personal growth videos by Prince EA , and presentations by Werner Erhard, Alain de Botton or Mel Robbins can provide impetus and motivation. Whatever it takes to keep you on your personal path, crunching through the underbrush, and clambering the rocky outcroppings must count as a tool for the journey.

Writer, ESL instructor, editor, traveler, seasonal ex-pat— my life is both an intentional and serendipitous circumstance. Motto — “Buy the ticket, and go!”

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