Marcus Aurelius, an ancient Roman Emperor, once said, “Ambition means tying your well-being to what other people say or do. Sanity means tying it to your own actions.”

As humans, our egos drive us to want to be validated through the recognition of others. We want to be relevant in the eyes of other humans; we crave importance. However, the more we strive to impress other individuals or act in hopes of being recognized, the less peace we find in our lives. We will always come up short. Inner-peace comes from living to the standards we create for ourselves.

John Wooden, former UCLA Men’s Basketball Coach once said, “Success is a peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”

I’ve had conversations with many before and some view this as a “cop-out” type of quote, but I highly disagree. You can get lucky and win a game, you can sabotage someone else and get a promotion, just as you can fail and do everything right. The only way to truly assess ourselves is through the standards we set and how we hold up to those standards day in and day out. Easier said than done, but strive for your best each day and let the spotlight shine wherever it may. You’ll be at peace with whatever happens.

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