We all know who the harshest critic is. And no, it’s not your mom or your dad. It’s you. Expectations are useful as a driving force as you strive to achieve the goals of your life, but when they take a turn to the dark side, they can be your worst nightmare.
Growing up, I wanted to be a musician (to quote my dad in an Egyptian accent, “over my dead body”), a physician, an athlete (I stopped growing = game over), and for a few of my formative years, a ninja.
It’s a good thing the whole ninja thing worked out.
I was never in a “gifted and talented” class in elementary school. Early on, I was in academic classes simply because that’s where I initially was placed. After my parents realized I could do better, I moved up to advanced. It would have been easy to coast through like that, but when middle school reared its awesome head around (it wasn’t ugly for me), I decided to force myself into honors level classes. I wasn’t ready for it, and it was one heck of a rude awakening. But it forced me to put in the time and effort to succeed.
The struggle to achieve more than whatever false paradigm set in your mind must be the springboard to do more. We don’t have the time to settle. We only have the time to push through to the next challenge.
This week, I read a post on Facebook talking about how it is better to be a Computer Programmer than a Medical Doctor in 2014. Sure, that might be true for some people based on certain parameters. But the concept of it all really irked me. Who said you have fit into others’ model of success? Who said that being “X professional” is the only thing you can be?
Be whoever you want to be, even if that means you are a Dentist-Entrepreneur-Gardener-Ninja. We define who we are and pave the road to our own success.
Yes, you are your harshest critic. Let it be the driving force that propels you forward.