Are you measuring yourself by the right metrics ?

Mark Manson in this book I’ve recently read, talks about successful people that feel depressed and unhappy although – looking at their situation outside – they don’t seem to have any reason.

One of them is D.Mustaine, that was kicked out by his previous band – Metallica. He formed another very successfully band – Megadeth – that sold millions of records, but he never felt enough compared to Metallica that sold 7 times his band.

That’s because he chose a more successful band as a metric.

Another example is a short man that measures himself by his height, and fails at dating as he holds to his metric, and assumes nobody is interested in him. Even if somebody is interested, his assumption leads him to the wrong evaluations and failures.

Bad metrics

In general, any metric that is out of control is a bad metric, e.g. being popular (you can’t control that) or being tall (from the example above, not something you can change). Material things (including money) are not good metrics either. If our metric of success is having a car and a house, once we have them we  risk ending up losing motivation. The problem that we were supposed to solve (buying them) is now gone, leaving us empty.

Good metrics: how to change and see things differently

Good metrics are based on reality, helpfulness to the society, and having an immediate and controllable effect. Examples: honesty, creativity, and generosity.

Living abroad also helps to adjust our metrics. In a different environment, we’ll see people living with entirely different values and still functioning. Western and Eastern cultures are known for being very different for example.

Changing metrics is difficult, it’ll make us feel disoriented and feel a sort of fraud to ourselves. But that’s normal, and – good news – is possible with time and effort. Changing metrics (and believes they are based on)  is difficult but sometimes necessary. Being aware is already a big step ahead.

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