“The biggest challenge after success is shutting up about it.” — Criss Jami
The feeling of success, of overcoming a great boundary, is one of the greatest in the world. It is what pushes men and women toward greatness and gives them the drive and willpower to push forward, no matter the obstacle in front of them. It is the light at the end of the tunnel, the tantalizing prize that we are rewarded with after weeks upon weeks of effort. So powerful is the rush that we get from this feeling that it can send some on a kind of ego trip, without ever knowing it. Success makes us feel powerful, and the ability for power to corrupt is well-documented throughout history.
But how do you avoid corruption while still maintaining the drive that can do wonders to your work ethic? The answer is through humility. It is easy to get lost in competition, and when that happens, your mind often plays tricks on itself to make you think that you are better in some way than your competitors, and even when they outshine you and prove themselves to be more capable, you might find yourself making excuses for why you didn’t beat them. Maybe you were too busy working on other projects to devote yourself fully, or maybe you had a lot going on at home. No matter the reason, the truth behind it is that someone else had a better idea and implemented it fully. For lack of a better phrase, there is no beating around the bush on this one.
However, after something like that occurs, there is no reason to call yourself a failure. You put every ounce of energy that you could afford into this project, and you came up with the best possible solution that was readily available to your mind. You pushed the limits of your intelligence and that is what is important. And even though someone else was able to produce a more effective solution, you can now move on and transform any negative energy you might have into an increased drive for your next project.
“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.” — Mahatma Gandhi
Often times, it is hard to be objective when somebody shoots down your hard work for another’s. You will naturally feel a kind of remorse for the other person and you will therefore only be able to see the flaws in their work, telling yourself why yours was better. But the truly smart thing to do is to learn from their work. Find out why it was more effective, instead of picking out its flaws. Every project has flaws, and it is usually hard to see the flaws in your own work. But when you do your best to compare the two objectively as possible, it might open up some insight on to your own work and what you could have done better.
What you should take away from all of this is: Never be too sure of yourself. It might sound like simple advice, but you would be surprised how many people fail to follow it. Dot your i’s, cross your t’s, and when you are sure that you that you have done the best you can do, move on. Experience is what makes us better, and failure is a necessary experience to have for all of us.