Why “being Ahead” Is Not Always the Same As “doing Well”

When you start your career on the bottom rung (as most of us do), “moving forward” and “improving” are synonymous. After a certain point, however, competing with someone else may not be the best motivator.

As author Seth Godin points out, it is very easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you are not really successful if you have more than anyone else. Even if you have an otherwise happy life, if it’s not better than someone else’s, you may feel like you’re not really “moving forward.” This can skew your prospect of success:

After the Seattle-based company was known to raise its lowest wage to $ 70,000, two people (who were paid more than most other workers) quit because they felt it was unfair that people who weren’t as productive like they were about to get a raise.

They quit good jobs, jobs they liked, because others got promoted.

This is our culture of talking about “moving forward.”

While there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve your life, it is important to take a step back from time to time and ask what really needs to be improved. Do you need a better car because someone you know has a better car? Or is it because your car is constantly in need of repairs? If you are improving your life just to compete with those around you, you may not really be improving your life.

Moving Forward vs. Prosperity | Seth Godin


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