I recently finished Atlas Shrugged, which turned out to be the most important book I've ever read. The most important thing I took away from it was the title of this post. I am very smart.
I'm not kind of intelligent, I'm not weirdly smart, I don't just happen to figure things out. It is neither freaky nor scary that I understand, learn, comprehend, correlate, and retain a wide variety of information about a wide variety of topics faster than almost anyone I know.
I will no longer feel the need to make excuses for my intelligence, because I was conditioned to do just that, and never realized it until Ayn Rand wrote about people who intentionally limit your potential by making you feel bad for being better than they are.
At work, I am excelling at my tasks and surpassing coworkers who have been doing for years what I've been doing for 4 months. I knew I was good at my job, but I didn't have enough experience to know just how good I was. Coworkers have asked me to help them with things they should have been able to do. At the time it confused me, but after I realized why, I had to laugh. These people knew I was smarter than them, and I still didn't.
But how dare I think like this? I should hide my talent. I should bury my skills. I should pretend they are an accident. What would happen if I made someone feel bad about themselves?
It is smug.
It is vain.
It is prideful.
It is unseemly.
It is antagonistic.
It is condescending.
But it is the truth.
When I was very young, my mother told me that when the kids made fun of me for being so smart, it was because they were jealous. I rejected that notion immediately, and never revisited the premise. It took decades for me to realize it, but it is completely true. Yet the opposite was what I would have said without a thought before that realization.
What other self-limiting falsehoods lie in the unchallenged corners of my mind, planted long ago by the enemies of my ability?
What buried truths lay undiscovered?
Who have I become with these mental blocks placed in my path?
But more importantly...
Who could I be if I remove them all?
Is there a limit to my potential if I remove them all?
Is there anything that could stop me if I remove them all?
There's only one way to find out.
...by the way; who told you you weren't as smart as me?
Edit after comments: What if the people who are the engines of this world are not that way because of their natural ability, but because of their state of mind?