Like being picked for the England football squad, or learning to play the piano, or speak Mandarin, or how to tie 74 different kinds of knots, or any of the things you promised yourself that you’d do someday.
And yet most of the time we manage to ignore the reality that these are ambitions that we will never realise. Somehow they manage to remain on our mental to-do list, no matter how impractical or unrealistic they may be. Then something comes along to to shine a light on our hopeless limitations.
I was idly scanning the Information is Beautiful website when I spotted this Peak of Genius gizmo and without thinking through the implications, I entered my birth details. What followed was a bit of a reality check.
The image above is clipped from the infographic showing me as the solid black dot. The grey dots are other people at their creative zenith and I’ve highlighted Bach as an example. There aren’t many to the right of my spot on the graph, only Voltaire and Hegel actually, plus the average Nobel Prize Winner for Literature, so there could be hope there, although I suspect you’re expected to have more of a back catalogue than a occasionally creative blog.
There are some possibilities to keep me optimistic though. I’m still short of being the oldest Olympic gold medal winner (Oscar Gomer Swahn, 1912) and a full decade younger than Benjamin Franklin’s career high when he helped draft the Declaration of Independence.
These are the possibilities that keep me putting one foot in front of the other and keeping that one foot out of the grave.