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Delusions of Grandeur (#3)

June 2, 2011 — By Dr. Pete

I have delusions of grandeur. I don't mean that I believe I could run for Mayor or become regional pie-eating champion. I daydream about singlehandedly battling an army of cyber-ninjas on my way to the UN to give the speech that will usher in world peace and end the boy-band scourge once and for all. I suspect this particular style of fantasy ends for most people around age 12. I'll be 41 next month.

It's not that I'm crazy (waits for derisive laughter to end)...

Ok, I'm not Capital-C Crazy. I don't actually believe that I'll win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry by inventing the self-replicating pie. I can't even say that I "believe in myself", at least not in the traditional sense. I'm plagued by self-doubt, most days. I've learned to get past it and do the work, but it's always there.

I'd like to say that I believe anything is possible, but that's not quite it either. I don't believe I can fly, no matter how hard I wish. I'm quite sure I can splat, given enough altitude.

I don't believe in destiny or the guiding hand of fate. Wait, that's a Rush song.

I do believe that I'm capable of more than I've done. It's more than that — I think untapped potential is useless — I believe that I WILL do more, that I'm on a path to something amazing. I believe that I'll change the world, even if I'm 105 when it happens. I believe that I'll see the Earth from space one day. I believe that my wife and I will raise an amazing daughter, and that she'll change the world, too, as soon as she stops eating books and lint.

I don't think you can survive in this world without believing something that is, at its core, completely insane. I've read that depression isn't just the belief that bad things will happen. Depression is tricking your mind to believe that those bad things have already happened. Maybe optimism isn't just the belief that good things are possible. It's the certainty that good things are inevitable.

In my mind, those cyber ninjas are smoldering on the battlefield and the remaining members of N-Sync are being hauled off to The Hague for crimes against humanity. Except Justin Timberlake — I'll need him on my team for the robot uprising.