Sunday, April 3, 2011

You Don’t Have to Get Straight A’s Anymore

We all remember our first performance evaluation. Report cards. We carried them home and presented them to our parents, yearning for their approval.

From a very early age we were taught the significance of outcomes. Whether it was getting a dollar for every A, being given a smile or  kind word, or avoiding being grounded, we discovered the report card mattered and we needed to be good at what we did.

We still carry this formative lesson of contingent approval with us. We still seek success to win approval, some of us from parents or spouses, others from colleagues and supervisors.

But just as having to get good grades to please your parents did not instill a love of reading, having to succeed to attain the approval of someone else will not make you enjoy the process.

To succeed, not just in the outcome but in the process, you need to invest the effort for yourself, not to win approval from others.

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