I was having trouble thinking the other day. Worries were piling up and also things were just not connecting. It seemed like I couldn’t do the simplest things the first time. My dear spouse gave me a modern parable that I wanted to pass along because I found a lot of truth in it.
She said, “how well does a Corsair or a P-51 Mustang run on the ground?”
Thinking about it, I recalled when I used to live next to a flight museum. Those particular airplanes coughed and sputtered on the ground, but once they were airborne and operating at full power, their engines smoothed to a powerful roar. I said “They run like crap.”
She said, “exactly.” The implication being that my brain was like that, and it ran best when operating closer to full capacity.
I think that’s true for many of us. We might have trouble in an environment we aren’t suited to, or thinking at too low a level, we might have trouble. But when we find what element we are best in, we might find that we are fare more intelligent and capable than we thought! How many people do we know who are amazing with their hands but useless with words? Or who couldn’t tell a nut from a bolt but can write words that make your soul sing? Or clean a place till it sparkles, but can’t play chess?
Moreover, the speed at which you do a thing can have a huge impact. Some people are best when they are working fast and yet lose momentum if they try to slow down. Some people keep making mistakes if they don’t take their time. Like the proper operation of a vehicle, finding your “best RPM range” can be critical to your success at what you do.
Don’t just take another person’s word for it, either. Find your own best pace.
If we all find that thing we are best at, and the rate at which we work well, those are the keys to realizing our full value as human beings.