The Smart Kid Trap

I wanna talk about a meme that one of my friends shared on Twitter, made me laugh and I had to make this article.

“gifted child”


My background, I’ve traveled the world as a public speaker, as an entertainer, working with some of the world’s largest companies and corporations.

This photo back here is me on stage in one of the most beautiful performing venues on the planet, and I make these videos to share my journey along the way.

The Meme

Which brings me to this meme.

Back when I was a kid a long, long time ago, I was on an academically gifted course track.

I got taken out of class to go do special stuff, and when you’re a kid and people are so proud of you for being smart, you start getting reinforced for being smart and thinking “Oh wow. Look at how easy things were for me. Look at how quickly I did that. I’m so smart. I’m amazing.”

And you start seeing the world through that lens.

“I’m somebody who’s smart and things are easy for me.”

Then, if anything feels like it might be difficult, well then that would mean I’m not smart, so I’m not gonna do that thing.

And you start to avoid anything that feels like hard work, because also, well, if I try something that’s hard, I’m probably going to fail at it, and then that doesn’t look very smart, so that will threaten the way that I see myself and how I know to get positive reinforcement from people.

So I’m not even going to try anything that takes effort.

Well, I hate to tell you: all the best stuff in life takes effort.

What Happens

Very quickly you sandbag yourself into never developing skills that will help you accomplish everything that you’re looking for. To me, that’s one of the biggest traps of being a smart kid.

You identify as that smart kid until you run into that wall of going, “Oh wow, this life thing is not easy. Maybe I’m not as smart as I thought I was. I’m a fraud.”

But you still can’t let go of that “Well, everything’s easy for me” identity. Ironically, holding onto that is what keeps you trapped in the cycle of never trying anything that is difficult, which is why the payoff of I love memes is really funny to me, is how simple it is.

Genuinely Clever

But also on the flip side, memes are incredibly, incredibly, clever and they communicate a lot in a very short amount of time. So if you dive deep enough into it, memes are one of the smartest ways to spend your time.

So in some ways, I haven’t learned a thing.

I’m still that same kid who’s scared of looking silly in public, which is why I make these articles.


But yeah, that was really all I wanted to share. This made me chuckle and I thought you might enjoy it as well. That’s it for this post.

Remember: change your mind; change your life.

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