If you're anything like me, you often have a hard time judging yourself.
You have to remind yourself that success isn’t how far you’ve gotten; it’s how far you’ve come from where you started.
You can’t let what school you went to, or the grades you got there, or how much money you make, or the promotion you didn’t get, or where you live define who you are.
Don’t get me wrong – those things can be important. But they’re just things you’ve done or are doing.
They’re not who you are.
After all, you’re a work in progress. Always.
And you can never be perfect. It’s just not possible. There will always be room to improve, so just forget the “I finally have it all” goal.
The key to being content with your life is being proud of how much progress you’ve made, and being excited to make even more.
The key is to judging yourself is to base your evaluation on the curve of your own life, not a curve set up by society.
Here’s an illustration:
Currently, I’m working with a young man who was a star college basketball player, but who got hurt one week before the NBA draft. So he missed the crucial window where he could have gotten into the league right out of college.
At first he – and I – thought this was a huge disappointment.
But it’s actually turned out to be a blessing, because through his rehab, he’s discovered some important issues with his body. If he had made the NBA right away and not taken care of them, he might have gotten hurt even worse.
Now, when he gets his next NBA tryout, he’ll be more prepared than ever.
Life is full of blessings in disguise - you just have to be in a mindset to receive them.
Anyway, when my friend does get down, I remind him that he comes from a broken home in the streets of Philly; that he’s the first person in his family to graduate college; that he played four years of D-I ball, which 99.99% of people don’t get to do.
In other words, he’s been a big success already! And he’s only 22!
It's a matter of looking at things from the right perspective.
If he judges himself by the NBA, he feels like he came up short.
But when he looks at his own life, his personal circumstances - and how far he’s come - he can see how well he’s really done.
What about you? Do you grade yourself according to society’s curve?
Are you hung up about your salary, or job, or the size of your house?
Or do you judge yourself according to your own curve - as the work in progress you really are?