In many countries today, the concept of accomplishment has changed. When we were growing up, getting a mark of 92 on an exam was viewed as
“You missed by 8 marks.” (View 1)
“You have accomplished 92.” (View 2)
If you are wondering how these 2 views are any different at all, you probably grew up in the same kind of environment as well. If each mark was a step to get to 100 (ie the final destination), then having obtained a 92 means you are 92 steps into achieving your ultimate goal NOT that you missed your goal by 8 steps. Still not adding up? I can understand. I am mathematical myself and I know that 92+8=100, however, there is a difference between viewing your life’s journey as “92 accomplished and now 8 more” rather than “missed destination by 8 steps.”
The first view recognizes the effort put in so far – that is, the 92 steps taken and accomplished, whereas the second view has absolutely no recognition of those 92 steps because it only considers the 100th step as an accomplishment.
This is one of things I have struggled with my entire life because that’s just how people viewed my everyday accomplishments. If you couldn’t achieve 100, no matter how hard you tried, everything was useless. As kids, we were taught to be the best in our class. There was so much competition that in order to get into the best schools and have the best education, you had to think this way and push yourself as hard as you can so you could eventually to 100, at which point no one could exceed you. Yes, other students could stand at the same level as you but that meant they had the same chance as you for getting into a good university. It is a survival technique and I understand why sometimes we have to think this way.
Regardless, it is not right to push yourself hard everyday and make your accomplishments seem so worthless. In life, it will not always be possible to reach your goal in a single attempt. You may have to take hundreds or thousands of steps before you get to your ultimate destination. If at every single step, you thought, “I missed my goal by x steps,” you will never be happy. On the contrary, if you thought, “With every single step taken, I am a lil’ better closer to my destination today as compared to yesterday,” you can be happy at every single step whether it is the 1st, 10th, 50th, 75th, 90th or 100th step.
It’s just a matter of perspective really. That is why, no matter what expectations the world puts on you, learn to be patient with yourself. The world is already impatient enough with you but you have to learn to see your accomplishments differently so that you can be happy every single day.