The Difference Between The Greatest And… Everyone Else

Unsplash / Cole Hutson
Unsplash / Cole Hutson

The great cellist Jacqueline Du Pre was a prodigy from an early age.

At age six, she was running, cello over her head, down the performance hall where she was one of the performers that day.

She was smiling and laughing and running.

A janitor, figuring she must have just performed and was relieved and happy at how she did said, “You must have just performed. Congratulations!”

And she said, “I didn’t perform. I’m about to!”


It doesn’t matter that very few people remember her name today. She died at age 42 in 1986.

But that day, at age six, she was so excited to perform that she was running TO something.

She was running towards an exciting and uncertain and even scary future (“I have to perform and do well!”). She wasn’t running with relief and the fading of fear. She was running towards the fear.

She grew up to be one of the greatest cellists of all time.

I have to give a talk later today. I’m always nervous as hell. I have to teach myself to run TOWARDS something, with cello overheard.

I want to do this every day.

Laughing, happy, excited. I am about to perform! TC mark

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