Deceiving Numbers

We live in a society that is run by numbers. Test results determine a student’s admittance into a University. A company’s statistics will determine whether or not an employee keeps a job. Athletes are required to hit certain times, or they can be removed from a team. Teenagers pride themselves on the number of people who follow them on Twitter or Instagram. Statuses and pictures are posted trying to maximize the number of “likes” one gets.

I spent a large portion of my life (going on 19 years now) analyzing and obsessing over numbers. I strategically planned out how to maximize my GPA with AP and honors credits. I display how many miles I can run on the back of my car. I prided myself on how many likes I could get on an Instagram photo. I strove to take a few seconds off my 800m time.

Not all of these things are bad; in fact, a lot of them pushed me to achieve excellence (or at least what the world tells us is excellent). By earthly terms, the numbers definitely described me as successful. So, what’s the issue, then?

The issue is when you start to find your worth in those numbers. The issue is when a percentage on an exam will determine the happiness of your day. The issue is when guys flaunt how many girls they text. The issue is when girls let a number on the scale determine their worth.The issue is when parents only say they are proud of their child when they swim a certain time.  The real issue, here, is when you let numbers tell dictate your self-worth.

No, I am not encouraging you to blow off your GPA or upcoming exam–those things are important and will help you in your future. Yes, numbers are important. At a quick glance, they can give you a plethora of information; however, they do not give you all the information. Numbers may determine your career, but they do not determine your life. Do not waste your time obsessing over the number of followers you can get on Twitter . . . Twitter will be history in a few years. Spend your time on eternal things, things that won’t fail you or leave you empty.

Your self-worth is not found in the number of interceptions you throw or how many people favorite your tweet. It’s not found in how many guys want your number, nor how high your GPA is. Those things are all awesome, congratulations, but when your life is over, is that what you want people to remember? Do you want people to announce your GPA at your funeral or to discuss the kind of friend you were? Do you want people to remember your soccer records, or do you want them to remember the dedicated and passionate person you were?

Numbers are great (duh, I’m a math nerd), but they are not everything. Never let them determine how you feel about yourself because your worth is not found in them. Who you are is determined by something much, much bigger.