It’s a nice Sunday afternoon and I find myself basking in the California sun outside my second home away from home. I have found myself occupied (making new friends, roaming around, attending talks and hackathons, cycling, playing football, Los Angeles) all the other weekends I have been here. But I decided to take a break during a break this time. With a quite surrounding and strong breeze on my face, I decided to write on something that has been on my mind for quite sometime.
In his post titled – ‘How do you grade yourself‘ – by Derek Sivers, one of my virtual mentors, he has written about how everyone grades themselves by different measures. It can be money, fame, accomplishments, stocks, family, net worth, giving away, creating things or anything. Everyone has their own measure of feeling satisfied about something after which they feel happy about it. I will be writing on how I grade myself.
People confuse achievements or materials as the source of happiness. People find temporary happiness in them because for a small time, you don’t desire anything else. It gives you that false satisfaction because you don’t desire anything else for that brief moment. And after it’s over, we start craving for happiness again. I feel measures too change with time and situation. During my undergraduate years, I realize that my measure of grading myself was how many things of value I create and how famous I was (nope!). These were the temporary happiness which really didn’t kick me personally. Yes, it did create some buzz during that time but it didn’t have a long lasting impact in me. It didn’t make me better. I was satisfied for a long time because I felt I did something useful. But in reality, it was nothing really. During one of my projects – Scoop, I found myself writing code in a very unorganized way. I definitely knew about version control systems, but the desire to create things was more over learning. The project didn’t go anywhere, largely due to the fact that I felt satisfied about my work, but I didn’t learn much.
So, I have decided that the measure of grading myself would be how much I have improved from yesterday. Here, ‘yesterday‘ might mean a year before or 5 years before or just yesterday. This will really keep myself on my toes to become a better me than yesterday. I constantly look to improve myself in any way I can. I explore new territories (which I hadn’t yesterday), I read new books (which I hadn’t yesterday), I learn new technologies (which I hadn’t yesterday), I try new food (which I hadn’t yesterday) making each and every day exciting and challenging.
So, tell me how you grade yourself?