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The trap of overachievement

Updated: Sep 6, 2022

We were programmed since our childhood to do what everybody else is doing. We were programmed to avoid being different, and just follow orders and follow the same path that everyone else is following. We were programmed to be copycats.

In school, we were told to do exactly what our teachers told us to do, to study what our teachers told us to study, to learn what our teachers told us to learn, and to be excellent students just as our teachers wanted us to be without questioning anything.

If you study people that create a big impact in the world in one way or another, most probably you’ll find out that they were troublemakers back in school. They questioned everything, didn’t followed rules that didn’t make sense, and didn’t let themselves be discourage when no one believed in their visions.

You’ll also notice that people who are unsatisfied with their life, their job and their income were probably really good students back in school. The reason is because they believed so much in the education system and followed everyone’s advice without questioning anything. These people follow the path that everyone else is following. They are being led by the system, instead of creating their own path. And when they finally find out, it’s too hard to get out of the rat race.

“Because students leave school without financial skills, millions of educated people pursue their profession successfully, but later find themselves struggling financially” — Robert Kiyosaki

Then you notice the other kind of people. The ones that offer real value to the world. The ones that make a bigger impact in their communities. The ones that are generally more satisfied with their income, job and life.

These people were probably average students. Average students have more chance on living a more fulfilled life because they know how to manage their energy better than others. They spent most of their time and energy in other things instead on the unnecessary school stuff. They used critical thinking instead of blindly following rules.

Doing that from a young age shapes students into a more valuable people. Students that blindly follow rules without questioning anything will probably follow a path that others want them to follow instead of creating their own.

This blog post was inspired by the book “Originals”.

The irony here is that I’m studying for my second Master’s degree. But the only reason that I went to college is to satisfy my dad and make him feel happy. I am well aware that the education system is not helpful in my vision. I am well aware that my business professors have no business background and I am well aware that no one can give me advice on how to achieve my goals when they are not the persons that I want to be.

So having that in mind I spent the minimum time and energy on my studies so I can focus on things that support my vision like learning the necessary skills, acquiring the necessary knowledge, building online businesses and learning from my mistakes, etc.

While everybody in my class are in stress, I effortlessly pass the modules while trying to build a business on the side and doing other fun stuff. Of course I have very average grades and sometimes I barely pass my tests but at least I have the energy to invest in more important things while keeping my dad happy.

The educating system has programmed people into chasing achievements. Let me make something clear for you. Achievements exists on the path that everyone follows. There are no achievements when you create your own path because you are following something original, something new.

Achievements exist in the path that is crowded, where people are constantly competing with each other. Who’s going to get the best grades, who’s going to get the best job, who’s going to get promoted, who’s going to get an increase in salary, who’s going to keep his job, who’s going to get fired, etc. All these people are chasing achievements without questioning if they are on the right path.

That’s the problem with copycats. They unconsciously locked themselves in a cage, blinded themselves from opportunities, restricted themselves from creating a bigger impact in the world and brainwashed themselves in doing things without questioning anything.

Teachers are educating but they don’t question the education system. Lawyers are committed to their legal careers without questioning the legal system. Doctors vaccinate people and give away drugs without questioning the health care system. “A” students are putting all of their efforts on their studies without questioning the reason that they have to learn all that stuff.

“If we have learned anything, it is the horror that can happen when people don’t think for themselves, but instead follow authority blindly” — Jacqueline Novogratz

Do you see a pattern here? They all follow the same road, the most crowded road. The road that they’ve been led by others.

How do you escape from that path?

Stop trying to achieve what everybody else is trying to achieve, stop doing what everybody else is doing and stop letting anyone put limitations on what you can do in your life.

Remove all the blinders that your teachers, parents, friends, government, churches and media corporations have putted on you.

When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow — Anais Nin

Stop trying to be someone that everybody else is trying to be. Be original. Remove all these limiting beliefs on how life works and stop taking advice from copycats.

Of course there is nothing wrong if you want to be a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, etc. We need these people in our society, but we also need original people more than ever before. People who did not let anything or anyone limit their potential. Original people are usually the ones that change the world, not copycats.

Remember, taking the road less traveled will make all the difference.


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