A couple of days ago, I watched the documentary about Dirk Nowitzki, the German basketball player, who plays for the Dallas Mavericks. There was this one part about judging your own success, which I found interesting. Interesting enough to write about it in my blog =).
Throughout the documentary they interviewed friends and family member. One of his friends reported that Dirk was devastated after he lost his first finals and that he questioned his own achievements. To be more precise, the friend said something along the lines that he didn’t feel he achieved anything in his many years in the NBA. At that point he was already the first European player who became MVP (Most Valuable Player) and had several All-Star invitations to his name which is in itself a huge achievement. He was and still is THE face of a franchise, made millions of dollars and seems to remain a very nice guy. The friend said that he couldn’t believe it and he compared it to his dream to become regional champion in Bavaria.
This struck a nerve. We often say to others, especially those who are “above” us (regarding achievements and “success” in life) that they should be grateful and they achieved so much and if they were comparing themselves with people who are less fortunate than themselves they could see it. Of course, objectively it seems right and if we pause, we might say yeah you are right. However, we tend to compare ourselves mainly to our friends, the people who work with us and the people who have more. I think this doesn’t need to be something bad, as it helps us to improve ourselves.
But it can also be a real struggle. Especially when you get to the top. The higher you get, the more competitive it gets to be successful, in comparison with the people around you. It is interesting that perspective doesn’t seem to help. Only because you have a better life than others doesn’t mean you cannot suffer. When you are at the bottom, it might be easier to see and value your own achievements, as there are more people at your own level.
It doesn’t mean you have to suffer, I think putting things into perspective helps, if we do it regularly and if we have good friends which keep us down to earth. A general question is: are you ready? Are you prepared for such a life? How good are you at handling “failures”? How harsh are you on yourself? If you want to get to the top, you need to be prepared mentally. And this is only one example of the challenges you might face.
Have a wonderful day and take care!