Back in 2011, I made a decision to take a break from teaching. This now-distant decision marked the end of a 7-year era in my life that I began by moving across the country from Tennessee to Arizona for graduate school in 2004.
After studying for 2 years, I began a faculty position at Northern Arizona University; and when I eventually moved back across the country I took an adjunct faculty position in Nashville, TN. I loved every minute of my teaching days, but after 7 years I was desperate for a career shift.
Success is a…Christmas Gift?
As a Christmas present in 2011, my dad gave me a copy of The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. I consider this a critical turning point in my transition from teaching to web development. The book offers up an inspiring viewpoint on the power of a positive mental attitude. It affirms that no matter what the goal at hand, developing good habits and cultivating one’s mindset are the keys to long-term success.
One of my main takeaways from The Success Principles was the idea of keeping a personal score card. To this day, giving myself a daily score on specific tasks is one of my primary motivators; and it plays a key role in tracking how successful I am at various goals over time.
Keeping Score Makes A Difference
While keeping score might seem to imply a competition of some sort, I am mainly talking about collecting information on myself, for myself. My personal score card is not meant to be a thing where I hold myself up against someone else’s standard or someone else’s level of success.
That said, one my favorite examples from Jack’s book is one that compares the personal score card to batting averages in baseball. The example goes something like this:
In the game of baseball, an excellent batting average is above .300 and a decent/mediocre average is .250. These numbers may vary for different baseball fans; but the point is that more or less, a mediocre batter (.250) is getting 25 hits out of 100 attempts, while a batter who is considered much more successful (.300) is getting 30 hits in 100 attempts.
This example shows that even a fairly trivial amount at first glance (just 5 hits out of 100) can mark the difference between “mediocre” and “excellent.”
I don’t like to judge other people’s accomplishments in these terms, nor do I necessarily want others judging me in these terms. But when it comes to myself and my own goals, I find a lot of benefit and motivation in attempting to accurately and honestly measure my success numerically. It gives me a sense of where I am, and it motivates me to keep chugging along when I most need it.
Watch Me Create A Score Card
In this video, I go through the steps I use to create my score card. I dare you to experiment with this core idea, adjust it in your own way that works for you, and run with it to great success!