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Presidents and rats

"You're good at running for President, but you have no idea how to be one. You're a pretender, Will. And if you win, you'll go from pretender to fraud."
- Frank Underwood

Towards the end of the fourth season of House of Cards, Frank Underwood says this to his opposing candidate for the US presidency. In this, he is just throwing rocks at Will. 

But, like Frank accuses of Will, many of us are pretenders. Let's face it. From the time we were kids, we are always learning how to be good at running for President, how to be good at scoring marks, how to be good at securing admissions, how to be good at being shortlisted for interviews, how to be good at securing jobs, how to be good at getting a raise and a promotion. 

Of course, someone who is good at running for President usually ends up becoming the President (although I don't know yet if Will Convey becomes President as I'm yet to watch the season finale, so let's keep it that way), because that's what the society and our institutions reward. How to be one is usually an afterthought. The thinking is that if we can manage to get there, we can figure out how to be one. It is the getting there that is more difficult. 

Something that we run for is called a race. Like the Presidential race. A race, by definition, means that there is one winner and the others are all losers. 

People want the real deal. 

Once we do manage to win a race, unless we know how to behave like a winner, we start prepping for the next race. And the next. And this is what is popularly called as the rat race. 

No one will read an aspiring author. No one will invest in an aspiring entrepreneur. And being good at running for something is the equivalent of aspiring to be something. There is no aspiring. 

Just be. 

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