Does it make sense to compete on whose car goes faster if you have a different destination in mind? What do you say to the 12 year old math whiz in you class who just got 105/100 because he even got to the bonus 5-mark question while you got 5/100 because you only finished the first 3 pages of the exam and got plenty of wrongs? What would you have said if 20 years down the road you realised you were going to be a successful artist?
So what if you are fast and furious if you’re headed off a cliff? As compared to being on the racetrack? We all think and behave as if everyone is heading in the same direction that we get caught up on very narrow, specific metrics to measure ourselves in ways that may not matter. In fact, if you’re trying to compete on speed in the wrong direction, you’re just going to get farther from your goals.
More important to take time to get the direction right. So many of the guys in Singapore think of their two years of national service a waste. And they find themselves believing that they are falling behind. The question is whether they took a pause to consider which direction they are trying to move in. Perhaps the two years serve to discover oneself better? Perhaps you’d realise at that point life is not about just doing what others are doing, except better?
In being constrained, you find yourself freed.