Everyone wants to be a millionaire. Everyone wants to climb the highest mountain or make the biggest sale or ride the largest wave. Our culture is full of people who are reaching for the stars and, consequently, overreaching. Why not take pride in climbing the second-highest mountain? Why not boast about having a big but not the biggest sale? Why do we have to be the best at everything instead of one of the best?
Not everyone is going to be the next Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk. There is a chance that the tech start-up youre creating wont take off like Facebook or Space X. And that is okay! That doesnt mean you shouldnt try. It just means you should keep your expectations in check and be proud of any accomplishment, even if it doesnt change the world. Our history is packed full of countless people who have made great progress without being the biggest and best. Do what you can and do you best and dont judge your success based on others accomplishments.
Far too many people based their achievements solely on others and, let's be honest, that's the best way to let yourself down. No matter how much success you find, there will always be someone else who seems to be doing better than you. That's why John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were rivals...and Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla...and Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
What should you base your success on: the amount of money you made? The number of rivals you surpassed? The golden plaques on the wall? No, in the end achievement and success should be quantified by how hard you tried and how determined you were. For that reason, the guy who only made it halfway up Everest should feel just as accomplished as the one who planted a flag at the peak.
A poster with a stick figure standing on top of a very tall mountain. Two taller mountains overshadow the very tall mountain. The stick figure exclaims, "Seriously?!". "Achievement: Sometimes it's better to just lower your standards."
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