This is advice I try to give to myself all the time. It is a struggle.
Boys and girls, I want to talk about achievement.
Some would argue that achievement today is demonized. That wealthy people didn’t earn their money, which can be true or not. That athletes cheat and take drugs. That leaders lie and deceive.
The thing about achievement is that it cannot be stopped. It is a force of nature bound in the essential foundations of existence.
You will achieve something. Whether you achieve something big or small is up to you and a topic for another time. I want to look at two current types of achievements in my sphere today.
The first is Two Division Champ Champ Conor McGregor (No, that’s not a typo… that’s how he likes to refer to himself). Conor, or Mr. McGegor as he would probably like me to call him, changed the world of Mixed Martial Arts and no matter what everyone wants to argue about when it comes to him he achieved. His latest and greatest achievement was winning his second UFC title to be the first person to hold two belts at the same time. Here he is in victory.
Doubtless you had a reaction to that. You can call him arrogant or an asshole. You can admire his confidence or hate him. However, he did not do one thing. He did not apologize. He did not * himself.
The second example is every realty show that competes with men and women. I won’t into specific details because they don’t matter but here is what does. The shows been running for five or six seasons. The show is about a particular skill. The show has men and women competing to win. In five or six season no woman has won.
Ok, got it? This season the women are particularly talented and aggressive to win. Chances are one of them may win the whole show. The whole season though they have gone on and on about being the first Female Winner.
Did you catch it? Female* Winner.
I know what they are trying to say, “I am the sixth winner! But the FIRST Female!” They are attempting to inflate their position in some way by declaring they are the first female, gay, paraplegic, black, white, Asian, Irish, Transgender, Handicapped, Handicapable, on and on and on… winner.
Adding that qualifier to first (and that is what it is… it is a qualifier that changes the conditions so you can be “first”) doesn’t elevate you or your group. At best it’s an apology at worst it’s an accusation.
Either that qualifier or * is saying that the game is rigged towards the group that has historically won and my group finally got a fair shake because I am more talented/hard working than the members of my minority that have tried to win before.
Or that qualifier or * is saying that your minority group has finally caught up to the other groups with your talent/hardwork.
Be humble in achievement, always shows gratitude, but apologize to no one.
Don’t * yourself.
Let your achievements be what they are. You are not the sum total of you gender, race, nationality, on and on and on. You are who you choose to be. Those are factors in your choices, big ones, but they are not you. You are the sum total of million billion unique moments. You are not just a series of factors.
When you see the world that way then you can truly enjoy your achievements and your own, earned, and apologize to nobody for them.