Go It Alone
SO CHECK IT!
In my senior year in highschool one of my classes was social studies. My teacher was a person who instead of teaching from the dry and boring curriculum decided to create a debate.
The debate would be “for” or “against” marijuana legalization. He separated the class into two teams and gave us a bunch of material to study.
After a weeks time we came back to class and the debate was on. He allowed us an hour to do any additional research and get our arguments together. Me at the time, being a lazy highschool kid only doing enough to pass I didn’t even read most of the material, just skimmed it but I also previously watched a documentary on 20/20 about it.
I was put on the “for” team. During the hour allotted we were suppose to get together as separate teams to research and hash out our arguments. I didn’t know any of my classmates and doing a quick study session with them would feel awkward, so I went off to the side trying to skim through the material as fast as I could and absorbed as much as I could while my teammates seemed bored and were having personal conversations.
When it came time to do the debate, I was the only one who had any arguments, I was the most vocal one on the team, and the opposing side’s arguments collapsed going up against mine. The other team didn’t stand a chance.
In the midst of the debate the bell rung signaling class to be over and for us to migrate to our next class but the teacher had something else for me in mind. The teacher asked me to stay for a few minutes after class. As everyone else left he closed the door with just me and him alone in the room.
He sat me down and told me I was really smart and I should, when it’s time, apply for college.
That day stuck with me for a few reasons:
I was able to weaponize the meager knowledge I did retain, and use just logic to win a debate against mostly studied individuals, who for all intents and purposes were way more prepared then me.
Since some people didn’t read the material I was at least a little more prepared and preparation is key because you cannot fully take advantage of opportunities you’re not prepared for.
Competence is valuable and cherished. Even having a little bit more competence above others can give you the win.
And, sometimes you get better outcomes when you go it alone. Sometimes folks don’t want to do the work and you end up making up for what they don’t contribute.