Is “proving them wrong” really the right way of success?

“Work in silence; let your success make the noise.”

I read this quote the first time around five years ago. Not only was it interesting, but it went viral as well. Even today, I see this quote, or it’s derivatives very often. However, I believe that people took this quote too seriously. Many people join the gym after a breakup with an aspiration that one day they will post their picture on Instagram with their aesthetic body with a motive to induce the feeling of regret in their past lover. Is this really right?

The social media world practically feeds on this kind of thought-process. Instead of making a business/ brand on social media, people post to be more likeable and “socially active”. But is that really healthy for you and your life? Is defining your success as the induction of a negative feeling in someone else really the right thing to do?

If you base your success on someone else, you assume that this individual will be less successful than you. Here are two outcomes that can take place in due time as a consequence of this thought-process:

#1 You become more successful than them

Great! You did it. You finally achieved your goal. The other person has less money/ houses/ bank balance than you. You might have even created the feeling of desire in that person. They now might feel regret and are ashamed of their actions in the past. 

But… what now? You got to your goal, right? You got the dopamine spike from inducing that feeling in the target person. But now what? Do you think you would grow anymore? Or will you plateau?

Under the described circumstances, you might have gotten what you wanted, but you have killed your desire to grow. In essence, this result will limit your potential to grow. You surely won the battle but lost the war.

#2 They become more successful than you

Maybe things did not work out for you. Maybe your ex-girlfriend/boyfriend found a more aesthetic mate while you were breaking the sweat in the gym. Or perhaps that person who laughed at your idea is now the vice president of a company while you are still looking to get the third funding for your start-up. What now? Let me tell you a story to illustrate.

Once in a small young band, four of the members decided to cut loose the fifth due to distinct differences. That person went on to form his group in the heat of a revenge on his former bandmates. He created a band called Megadeth, and the guy’s name was Dave Mustaine. He created one of the best heavy metal music bands the world has ever seen. Dave got into magazines, interviews and made sound money. But Dave was never satisfied in his career. He never enjoyed what he had achieved.  The reason was that the former band, which ditched him, turned out to be Metallica. One of the biggest brands in the world, with almost ten times more fans than Megadeth. 

The moral of the story is that Dave could have lived his life in peace. He had things that people in the music industry dreamt of. But he based his success on defeating a band which he could never defeat.

Focus on your own success

Understand that you cannot control what others can or cannot do. If you focus on them, you will never enjoy what you have made for yourself. Focusing on beating someone else is not going to help you in the long-run. 

You have your own life. Depending on someone else’s decisions is absurd. However, we still do it. Because that’s what we have seen in movies or Instagram posts.

Remember, if you develop your goals, while keeping someone else in your mind, who did wrong to you, you are essentially giving them the credit of your success. Do you believe that these people are worthy enough to get your success’ credit? They should not be.

“You are the captain of your ship and master of your soul”

Own your life and success, let others watch and do whatever they want to do with it.

Shantanu Sharma & The Real Life Education Team 

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