A few weeks ago, I wrote about an acceptance speech that Matthew McConaughey gave at the Academy Awards. In it, he recognizes that his competition doesn’t come from what others are doing, it comes from what he is doing. He isn’t chasing what others are doing today, he’s chasing the person he should be in 10 years.
Too often, people get caught up worrying about what others are doing around them; their accomplishments, their failures, how they reinvent themselves, their strengths, their weaknesses, their ability or their inability to bounce after a failure and they benchmark their own success on it.
Such an outward looking singular focus can be damaging, because:
- When we measure our success against others, it is a constant moving target and it shapes, and then reshapes, our activities, our behavior and our self worth. When we cannot surpass someone, the effects can weigh us down and can minimize the impact that we are actually having.
- We look at the larger accomplishments of others and we don’t see the challenges they had to overcome in order to achieve them. We forget to look at the smaller successes that we accomplish everyday. The smaller successes that, if we consistently and methodically accomplish on a regular basis, compound and over the course of time lead to much larger successes.
- Our success should not be measured on the same scale others use to measure their own success. Every person is unique, with unique skill sets and strengths. The strengths that one person leverages in order to accomplish something great are most likely not the strengths that we must leverage in order to accomplish something great. Continue Reading…