I’ve made many, many mistakes. Far too many to count. But there’s one mistake I haven’t made, and I can assure you I never will. I have never, ever said to another human being, “You can be whatever you want.”
I hear this all the time. Just the other day I heard a successful entrepreneur say, “You can be anything you want. You can do anything you want. You’re only limited by your imagination and your willingness to work!” Everybody hooted and stomped and applauded. Well, everybody except me. I rolled my eyes.
I usually roll my eyes when I hear drivel.
Truth is, you can’t be anything you want. You can pretend to be anything you want. Bruce Jenner and Rachel Dolezal have shown us that. But no amount of effort, schooling, hard work, surgery, makeup, or public approval will make you something you’re not equipped to be.
You ought to see some of the manuscripts that are sent to me by non-writers who think they can become published authors because someone, somewhere told them they can be anything they want. The following sentence is from one such manuscript:
The important significance of this point is that it matters to never go beyond where you need to be.
Don’t be looking for this literary genius’ work on the shelves anytime soon.
Some might say I’m being mean. Actually, it’s the people who preach that you can be anything you want that are being mean. They’re setting people up for some crushing blows by giving them false hope.
Here’s the truth: There are some things you can be and some things you can never be, no matter how hard you try. If you want to live a happy, productive life, choose from the former list, not the latter.
The next time you hear someone tell you that you can be whatever you want, know that the person is either a fool or a con-artist. Follow him/her at your own risk.