You know the old saying -- "No matter how good you are at anything, there's always somebody better." What your coaches/parents/guidance counselor never told you, however, was that it's entirely possible the "somebody better" is still wearing training pants and eating peanut butter sandwiches with the crusts cut off.
Some will call these little overachievers "inspirational," but let's be honest -- they just remind us of how much we've wasted our own lives.
Before he became the only saving grace of How I Met Your Mother, Neil Patrick Harris made a name for himself starring on Doogie Howser, MD, in which he played a 16-year-old genius surgeon. Now, as far as we can tell, no one in the real world has ever managed to graduate med school that early, although Sho Yano probably could have. But because he decided to get both a PhD and a medical degree at the University of Chicago, he "only" graduated med school at the ripe old age of 21.
Sho started college at age nine, when some people we knew were still wearing Velcro shoes.
At the time, his mom still packed him a brown bag lunch before she drove him to class, because an IQ of 200 doesn't really help get your driver's license early when you still technically should be using a booster seat.
According to Sho, he had trouble making friends in college, but by med school, people were apparently more accepting and/or desperate for a free tutor. Also, thanks to his two-pronged goal of a medical degree and a PhD, by the time Sho was interacting with patients, he was at least 19, which must have made it a little easier for them to take his advice seriously.
Loyola Student Dispatch
"We'll have to agree to disagree about this whole 'cancer' thing, kid."
Little kids generally have the attention span of a small dog with a belly full of amphetamines. If you can get them to do one thing for more than an hour, you're either a wizard or a skilled hypnotist. Biranchi Das was neither, but he was an amazing coach, and so, after he sort of adopted a young kid named Budhia Singh (after his impoverished mother sold the child to a street hawker), he successfully trained him to be a master marathon runner.
Under Das' tutelage, Budhia completed 48 marathons (not a typo) before he was five (again, not a typo).
In comparison, we're getting winded just looking at this picture.
Now, to give you a better idea of how freaking amazing that is, an average adult runner needs about 4.5 hours to complete a marathon. So between practice, the marathons themselves, and the time he ran 40 miles straight from the city of Puri to Bhubaneswar, Budhia probably spent close to a 1,000 hours running, often in 120-degree heat. Again, all before he was five years old.
Das, who become like a father to Budhia, kept track of the boy's diet and exercise regimen, with the ultimate goal of taking little Budhia to the Olympics. However, tragedy struck when the government stepped in and banned Budhia from marathons, saying his tiny body could not take all that running (in the government's defense, this is probably true). Later, even more tragedy struck when Das was murdered by a local gangster.
Not every child prodigy's life is a Disney movie.
For the last couple of years, Budhia has become a ward of the state, and has only been allowed to run sprints, which it seems he sucks at. On the positive side, an inspirational movie was made about his life. How many people can say that at age 14?
Most kids' journeys into the world of art starts at drawing oversized mustaches on every picture in their history books, and ends when they replace the mustaches with giant dicks. Not UK artist Kieron Williamson, though. He first started painting at age five, and a mere few years later, he got so good that his oils and watercolors have started selling for $3,000 a piece, minimum.
Oh please, we could do that too if we had the talent and the patience.
One of his winter landscapes has even fetched a jaw-dropping $40,000:
Well, at least this one does kind of resemble a giant dick.
And no, this isn't a case of Williamson's eccentric billionaire uncle buying his paintings for outrageous amounts of money to make up for the time he forgot his birthday. Serious art critics have compared Williamson's style to Monet's impressionist paintings. During his 2011 exhibition, which earned him about 200 grand, people from as far away at Thailand camped out in front of the gallery's doorstep in order to get their hands on a Williamson original
Although they were probably outnumbered by the therapists lining up to give Kieron's overshadowed sister their business cards.
Kieron's parents estimate that he must have made north of $2 million from his art, parts of which went to buying his family a house when he was only eight. Unsurprisingly, the Williamsons also say that raising their child has been a bit of an ethical nightmare, because how do you justify making a living off of a toddler, or grounding your child when he paid for the house you're living in?
The Grammy Awards may be controlled by a secretive cabal of people who might not actually like music, but we'd probably lose our minds if we ever got nominated for one of those (if for no other reason than that we've never played an instrument that didn't come packaged with Rock Band). That's why we are so in awe of Joey Alexander, a 12-year-old pianist from Indonesia who was nominated for two Grammy awards this year, and who has somehow resisted the urge to hire a unicycle-riding clown to follow him around with a sign bragging about it.
CBS News Productions
That's the kind of self-control we can only dream of.
When he was six, Joey was given an electronic keyboard to play with, and instead of making every key play a different fart noise, he taught himself to play music. He got good enough that his parents hired someone to teach him to play classical music, because that's the second chapter in every book about a child prodigy. It didn't work out so well, though.
See, in classical music, there is only one acceptable way to play a piece. But Joey had a drive to create and improvise, so he instead started playing jazz. Thanks to the internet's love of adorable things playing the piano, a video of Joey soon went viral, and before he knew it, he had a few number-one hits on all the major jazz charts. That's when the Grammy people started paying close attention to him.
That's cool, but to be honest, jazz always sounded to us like the musicians were making it up as they went along.
His videos also got Joey an invitation to play at a jazz gala at Lincoln Center, on The Today Show, and at the Newport Jazz Festival, which is something like the Woodstock of jazz music (in that most of the people there are probably baked out of their minds). And while he didn't ultimately win at the Grammys, he did perform to a standing ovation.
According to The New York Times, writing an opera is the "ultimate challenge and the ultimate achievement in a composer's life." Hopefully, that doesn't mean that English prodigy Alma Deutscher peaked too early, writing her first mini opera at seven and her first full-length opera at 10. But even if she did, that's a hell of a peak.
Alma started playing the piano at age two, and picked up the violin at three, probably because she was bored and needed a better challenge for her hands than finger painting. She quickly became so proficient at both instruments that she was able to write her first sonata at six, and her first short opera at seven, which told a story about a Dream Sweeper who helps people forget their dreams. That's some brilliant fairy tale existentialism coming from an age group that thinks Cars 2 is a good movie.
At 10, Alma composed a full-length opera about Cinderella, which will be shown in Vienna (complete with costumes and a full orchestra) in December of this year. In Alma's version, however, the prince falls in love with Cinderella's melody, and later tries to find her using that song rather than a piece of wildly impractical glass footwear.
Most recently, Alma performed at the Henley Festival alongside such greats as Elton John and Elvis Costello. Still no Grammy nomination, though, so Joey Alexander can hold that over her if they get into a fight at a cocktail party or something.
For more kids who will remind you that you've accomplished fuck all, check out 5 Shockingly Powerful Kids Who Make You Look Like A Coward and 6 Shockingly Brave Kids Who Make You Look Like A Wuss.
Follow us on Facebook, and we'll follow you everywhere.
Instagram influencers are often absurd.
All commercials are a least a little weird.
Here are some recent
These actions stars were so bad at being badass, they were just ass.