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My Brother Is The Smart One


David just wrapped up his sophomore year of college at the University of Arizona.

He got straight A’s again last semester and is carrying a 3.91 GPA, which keeps him more than eligible for his full tuition scholarship. He’s also the leader of 49 amazing young men as President of his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon.

I’m not stating these facts to brag, although I am very proud of him as an older brother. I’m stating these facts, because not so long ago I wouldn’t have believed that this was possible. In fact, I don’t think David believed it was possible either.

Do you know why? Because my family (all four of us) were telling ourselves the lie of:

“Michael is the smart one.”

Granted, my SAT scores were higher and I took harder classes in high school, but did that make me the “smart one?”

Parents sometimes label their children as the smart one, the good looking one, the athlete, or the social butterfly. Then their kids spend the rest of their lives living up to those labels.

Why not label all of your kids as the smart one? Why not tell all your kids they can do whatever they put their minds to?

Many of us spend the first decade of adulthood breaking out of the roles that we picked up when we were in elementary school. The chubby brother, the shy artist, or the class clown.

Or worse, we keep asking ourselves why we can’t be more like our older brother. Why?

Because our parents straight up asked us to our 6 year old faces, “Why can’t you be more like your older brother?” Commence inferiority complex.

I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but as some point when David was 13 or 14 we had a serious conversation together where I told him I wasn’t the smart one. I told him he was the smart one. And he hasn’t looked back ever since.

In fact, he will certainly have a more successful college career than I did (if there even is such a thing).


So, yes, my brother David is the smart one. But so am I.

We are both the smart one. We are both the good looking one. We are both the athlete. We are both the social butterfly.

We are both whatever we want to be.

And so are you.

You are the smart one. You are the good looking one.  You are the athlete. You are the social butterfly.

And you can be whatever you want to be.

And if this is the first time you are hearing this in your life, everyone else has been lying to you up until now.

Now go get ’em smarty pants.

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