It is incredibly easy to have your ambitions, your ideas of what success looks like, driven by everyone but you.
We worry about how we’ll be perceived when we have to tell someone what we do at a cocktail party or when we run into an old colleague or schoolmate who hasn’t seen us in years.
We learn intuitively as we grow up, without anyone ever having to tell us, what our community deems as successful. We may be applauded for becoming a doctor, but not so much if we become an auto mechanic or a barista, no matter how great we are at the job.
As we scroll through status updates on Facebook and Twitter, we’re constantly confronted by other people’s ambitions and often can’t help but to use their success as a measuring stick of our own.
In this great TED talk, Alain de Botton implores that we ask ourselves a question that I think is essential to getting ourselves out of the habit of subjective success measuring: are we “truly the authors of our own ambitions”?