Are you the best at something specific within the confines of an over defined demographic?

Ashim D’Silva

There’s a lot of pride that comes with being the best at something. We love records so much, we even start making them super specific so they become harder to trump. Cricket is infamous for this: this batsman has the highest score while chasing a target against this country, at this ground, during the winter, wearing blue underwear, without a water break…

We do it for a simple reason: being the best is pretty meaningless. Being the best simply means you haven’t yet found someone better. It has a time limit, and if it’s interesting enough, someone will trump your value and suddenly you’ll be second best. And nobody cares about number two.

If your value is always defined by comparison with someone else, you depend on them to compete in order to prove your worth. I far prefer being good. I am good at what I do. I’m not the best. There are people better, there are those that aren’t. But I’m not good because of the people I’m better than. I only want to be better than I was yesterday.

Awards, records and recognition are great motivators, but being the best doesn’t imply that you’re any good.

You’ll never be the best at anything but being you. Everything else, someone will beat you at eventually. Being objectively good though, is yours as long as you want it. Your value isn’t based on comparison with anyone else.

Self motivate–it’s easily the most useful skill you’ll develop.

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