Donald Dew was a high achiever. He set a goal and then he set out to accomplish that goal, and more times than not, Donald Dew would accomplish his goals.
In high school, Donald Dew wanted to graduate top of his class – Valedictorian — so he studied, he took AP classes and he refused to stay out late. Donald Dew did what it took to accomplish this goal, and he succeeded.
He felt good about his accomplishment. He gave a heart-wrenching speech. Teachers cried. Parents who didn’t know him cried. His parents cried (although they would have cried, no matter how good or bad his speech was). But they all cried.
Donald Dew felt good about himself for another week, and then he didn’t. He was Valedictorian but there had to be more to it than that? He went to the same college that people who weren’t Valedictorians went to. He sat in the same classes. He was no further ahead of those who accomplished less in high school. In addition there were other Valedictorians from other high schools going to his college.
I’m nothing special, thought Donald Dew.
So Donald Dew set out to be top of his college class. He was pre-law, so he strived to get into the most prestigious university – Harvard. Donald Dew put his nose to the grindstone as they say, and knocked out 4.0 after 4.0. He built relationships with his professors. Procured sterling letters of recommendation and when it was time for the LSAT, he scored in the 97th percentile.
Pretty good. Donald Dew was moderately happy with this goal, yet he couldn’t stop thinking: “Who are those three percent? And what if they are all applying to Harvard like me?”
Donald Dew was worried. He wasn’t sure if he would achieve his goal.
He did. He got in. Harvard accepted him into their Law School.
Donald Dew was ecstatic. He couldn’t contain himself. He and his buddies went out to the bars and got rip-roaring drunk. They sang songs. One buddy picked a fight with someone. Donald Dew broke it up. Then later on in the night Donald Dew got punched in the eye for hitting on some married chick, as he described her.
The next morning Donald Dew and his friends reminisced with splitting headaches and queasy stomachs. They laughed and laughed. Donald Dew felt good. He felt happy. Another goal had been accomplished.
Two weeks before the start of Law School, Donald Dew met all his fellow students at a mixer. Everyone had as impressive or more impressive resumes. It worried Donald Dew. He wasn’t the stand-out anymore.
A new baseline had been established.
Donald Dew spent the next two years miserable. He studied all day. He read the most monotonous material. He memorized case after case. He got an internship at a law firm where he spent countless hours. He rarely slept more than four hours a night.
However in the end, it all paid off. Donald Dew graduated Harvard Law top of his class and he could choose to work for any firm his little heart desired. Donald Dew felt good about this. He called his parents. He told his friends from college and high school. And then he went out to celebrate with his fellow law students.
Donald Dew’s high began to fall as his buzz from drinking Blue Moon began to rise. He started to ponder things.
His friend Peggy Sue who graduated just short of Donald Dew for first in class, asked Donald Dew: “Donald Dew what troubles you?”
“I don’t know. I’m just feeling blue. It seems like nothing is new. Not matter how much it seems I grew.”
“Don’t stew in your own dew, Donald Dew. It’s unbecoming of you. But nothing is new. That is true. When your mind is afflicted with the flu. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You have to review the ways in which your life grew. Stew in that good old brew. Smile! It’s just me and you at the top of this entire crew! It’s the struggle of becoming the best Donald Dew. It hurts like a bad boo-boo, but that’s what you do. You’re Donald Dew, one of the few. Remember that and you’ll realize what you already knew – everyone feels blue a time or two, even for those that strive to be one of the few. No one is immune. Not even you Donald Dew.”