Some thing I’ve been thinking about lately: Is it better to be the best at something or to be the first at something? In 1891, Dr. James Naismith nailed a peach basket to a gymnasium wall and made his phys. ed. students lob a ball through it. One hundred years later, Michael Jordan lead the Chicago Bulls to victory in the NBA Championships, and did so again in ’92 and ’93.
Johann Zahn built the first portable practical camera in 1685. In 1927 Ansel Adams snapped his famous “Monolith” photo.
Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu put “The Tale of Genji” to paper in the early 11th century. In 1884 “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was published by Mark Twain.
In 1956 George C. Devol and Joseph F. Engelberger developed a robotic arm called the “Unimate.” In 2005, Honda unveiled this:
If you’re the first, people may not remember you, but you’ve definitely changed the world. If you’re the best you get both sides of the pie.
My question is this: If you succeed in doing something different, something no one has ever done before, would you be able to live with the fact that you might never be remembered for it? Or is simply doing it satisfaction enough? Or do you gain satisfaction from knowing that you paved the way for others like yourself? Are you capable of having no ego?
Are you lying?