The world’s divided into two camps. One camp sees the world as “ability” — the skill at which someone can do something. The other camp sees the world as “potential” — the skill at which someone can do something at a future date, variable according to which the “potential” is honed or practiced.
I belong to the latter, perhaps due to the fact that ever since young, I’ve always been a constant “has got potential to do better” student.
When I see the media touting the skills of yet another young prodigy, my first thought is always, “if he is that good at such a young age, imagine what he will become when he grows up!”
Then I stop myself.
How often does a child prodigy actually grow up to be a full-fledged master in his area of expertise? Not that often. Child prodigies are not guaranteed to be successes in life, and non-prodigal children are also not guaranteed to be failures. Which gives the rest of us “potential to do better” people some hope.