Give Up!

Written by NiMechE Press

  • January 12, 2020
  • 6

Yes, give up. It’s not some motivational speech and there’s no epic plot twist. The message is “give up”, and it’s very okay to.

Sub-ten seconds is the hallmark of elite performance in the 100m men event in athletics. Only 143 people in history have ever gone under ten seconds; Jim Hines was the first person to do so in 1968 (9.95s) and Usain Bolt sits atop that list at 9.58s. The first white (not of African ancestry) person to join the sub-ten club did so in 2010, and the fastest ever in that category is Bingtian Su of China at 9.91s. The difference between that time and the world record is light years in athletic discourse.

Of the 143-man list, over 130 are of West African ancestry. That right there is the talent factor with a lot of hard work of course. When Per-Olof Astrand said “to become an Olympic athlete, choose your parents well”, he been knew. This is not unique however as similar trends can be observed in other events and in many facets of life. 

Above is a list of World Record holders in athletics and their ancestries. The red line separates the sprints (West African origin) from the middle/long distance events (East African and North African origin). Just before you begin to wonder, it’s not correlation; it’s causation because both speed and endurance are somewhat genetic.

If you’re not of African ancestry, I can reasonably tell you to give up on breaking the 100m world record and this right here is a textbook example.

There exist a thousand other endeavors where giving up isn’t as much a bad idea as it is the last bus stop for you. It’s okay not to be or want to be the best at something, but if you want to and you realize it’s not for you, give up being the best and focus on other things you’re great at. I believe we’re all in the pursuit of excellence. In this pursuit, nothing is more important than talent.

The idea that ten thousand hours of focus work would make you the best is a myth. Ten thousand hours of polishing a turd would just give you a shiny turd”– Mike Young.

Hone in on “you” and drop these other stuff. Basically, GIVE UP!

©Forrest Gump

6 responses to “Give Up!”

  1. Ibk says:

    Mad o! This one burst my Head.

    Actually, They are right we can not be good at everything. I once read Henry Ford’s response when he was asked if he knew the answer to some design considerations or so and he said he has people working for him that their jurisdiction is that, If he needs to know, he asks, he just faces what he is good at.
    That’s the reason we have area of specialty, if u are not good or Interested in a thing simply give up and look for something you can be awesome at. There is always something for everybody.

  2. Otunba says:

    This is discouragingly practical lol

  3. Eric says:

    Great piece

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