Posted by: altmike | December 2, 2012

Underestimation = Motivation


One of the things I hated growing up was getting picked last. Picked last during recess basketball, picked last to be in group projects; I got picked last a lot. It’s a terrible feeling because you stand on a line among your peers and one by one your peers are subconsciously put on a pedestal higher than you are. The only time I really got picked first during school was when we were doing presentations in class and it was because my last name started with an “A.” I got picked last largely in part of two things: One, I admit I wasn’t the best at sports growing up but I also wasn’t the worst. And two, because I was underestimated.

I think that being underestimated is one of the best judgments somebody can put on you. Why? Because when you blow their expectations out of the water, then you get put on that persons radar and their level of respect for your abilities inevitably rise. The best thing one of my basketball coaches once told me during tryouts was “Hey if you just got picked last then you need to go prove why you don’t deserve to get picked last. You need to play with a chip on your shoulder and show your teammates that you are better than their assumptions.” I got to the point why I earned the opportunity to not get picked last and I never looked back.

This is also true in life in general. How many times have you or someone you know tell a story about a teacher/parent/adult who told them that they would never amount to anything. That they would never be successful. That sounds a lot like getting picked last to me. Like anything in life at that moment you have two choices. You can either accept the fact that the people around you don’t think you are as good as others or you can go give as much effort as you can and prove why you don’t deserve to be picked last. Don’t take other peoples opinions as a life sentence to mediocrity but rather motivation to excel.

I want all of my readers to think about a time when they got picked last. Whether it was getting picked last on the playground, last to get a promotion or last to graduate from college. Use that as motivation and prove nay-sayers wrong. Prove to yourself that you are better than what other people think you are!

Can’t is not an Excuse


  1. The summer before I started my doctoral program, I drove to OSU to see if I could meet some of my professors. Only one was in while I was there, and he told me he had recommended not accepting me. I went in to every class with the attitude that I was probably not the smartest person in the room, which I had no control over, but that no one in the room was going to out work me, something I had total control over. I finished the program and many of my peers dropped out. I like competing on effort.

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