The only competition worthy of a wise man is with himself – Washington Allston
In business, at school and even at work – we always try to define an external yardstick to measure performance. In my opinion, in professional life if you are going to measure success by evaluating with external standards you are guaranteed to be dissatisfied. In this competitive world, you will always find someone better than you, doing more things than you, making more or has more than you can imagine. This catchup game will never end.
Define your own standards for success
In the past, I have had the opportunity to interact with so many people who say my inspiration is Bill Gates or Steve Jobs etc etc. Instead of focusing outwards, see what are your acceptable standards for success. You will be amazed to know your goals are larger and not constrained when compared to your idols. Don’t put yourself inside a box, think as though you have no box to constrain yourself.
Focus on competition has always been a formula for mediocrity. – Daniel Burrus
Don’t wait for that moment, create them
If you want to be incrementally better: Be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better: Be cooperative.
It is concerning when people say they are waiting for the right moment in their life to actually do “what they want to do”. Tomorrow is a mystery and we can only control what we have today at present. So the best investments today will not be on gold but on the people we love, the dreams that we have and living the life the way we want.
Reading Warren Buffett’s concepts around “doing what you dislike today so that you can do what you like tomorrow” is a great start. I personally feel, creating the opportunity and ceasing the same at the right time is critical.
Today, the work itself may be really exciting and noble, but if you are not positioning yourself for life after work, you need to change your role and revisit where you are. If you are counting upon that Life Changing Event, you are wishing for statistically unlikely event. Most successful people have taken the risks in life and it is these risks that make them what they are today !!!
I am not trying to advocate you leave your job and look out for that dreams. Work towards the dreams but be prepared to create that opportunities when the dreams can come true. Finally, be your best judge – don’t look out for that pat-on-the back or recognition that someone is going to shower with that lovely words over mail. Those will eventually come, set your own goals – work towards them and measure your own success.
Feel free to drop me a line if you have any interesting comments.