Quality Blog

Jim's Gems: Be Yourself

May 18, 2010
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I found it hard to sleep last night. It was a tough day and I dedicated about half of it counseling different people with opportunities (problems) - some personal and some professional. It seems that I've had many such conversations to help others see their roles and objectives clearly. As leaders (and we all are leaders in some fashion) this should be part of our daily work. Today, there was a common theme for a couple people who seemed to be comparing themselves to others.

Comparing ourselves to others can be good and we've all done this to a certain degree over the course of our professional or personal life. It can be effective. Personally, picking out positive characteristics of successful people and, if those characteristics have fit into my psyche, then I've molded some of them into how I conduct myself. Of course these characteristics are different from traits, which are uniquely inherent to us as individuals. For me things like integrity, trustworthiness, commitment and loyalty are central to core values.

However, comparisons to other, seemingly successful people can have adverse affects.

Move away from the need to compare yourself to others. When we do this we can move toward higher and higher levels of personal effectiveness and fulfillment.

Many of the things we see as limitations and deficiencies in our life are not really limitations at all. They're created in our imagination when we compare ourself to others.

We shouldn't waste our time focusing on what others have that we don't have. Instead, we should put our time and energy into making the most of the unique and valuable knowledge, skills and resources that we have available to us.

We can't allow our energy to be drained away by worrying about what others will think. Simply be your authentic best, and keep in mind that what anyone else thinks about you should not be a major concern.

It's great when we can learn from others and cooperate with others to achieve mutually beneficial results. Just don't allow your life to become bogged down by constantly comparing its details with the lives of those around you.

You are unique - one of a kind. The more completely you celebrate and fulfill that reality, the more satisfying and rewarding life will be. Don't try to, or wish to, be someone you are not. Be the model for yourself and others will want to emulate you.

Go forward where others have not yet gone and leave a trail for others to follow. That's real success.
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 In honor of World Quality Month, we spoke to James Rooney, ASQ Past Chairman of the Board of Directors 2013, for his take on quality around the world.
For more information, read the ASQ Speaking of Quality column.
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