Go rate yourself "A, B, C, D, F" in your core business or vocation functions. There's probably, like, 5-10 of them.
Now, ask yourself, "If our goal was to be #1 in the field -- the very best -- what would the ratings be?"
It's easy to give yourself a couple A's, mostly B's, and the occasional C.
But grading out at a "C" in one key area -- being average -- might just be fatal to being the best in the industry. A "C" when measured against the field is quite possibly an "F" when measured with really being the best.
If you were very strictly grade yourself, would you really come away with more than a single "A"?
And, wouldn't you really have a few areas that are critically deficient and holding you back?
Try this exercise. It's eye-opening. Most people benchmark against average, so something that seems "OK" could well be fatal if you'd like to break out of the commoditized pack and be known as best of the breed for what you do.
I just posted a new article at Less Wrong - "Steps to Achievement: The Pitfalls, Costs, Requirements, and Timelines." This is a little bit longer and more dry than I write for my blog, but I think there's some very important things in here.
If you're interested in goals and achievement, there's quite a lot of meat here. I'm putting the full version up here and please feel very welcome to comment here on this topic, but also consider heading over to Less Wrong, grab a free account, and start participating there. As I described in "You Should Probably Study Rationality," it's a wonderful community.
Reply to: Humans Are Not Automatically Strategic
In "Humans Are Not Automatically Strategic," Anna Salamon outlined some ways that people could take action to be more successful and achieve goals, but do not:
I've been wanting to write this post for a while, but I've hesitated because I thought that it would only benefit the few of us with high end cameras. But when I finally got my Sanyo VPC-WH1, which is the video version of a point and shoot, I realized how important these concepts are, even on that end of the spectrum.
Like anything, understanding how photography works will make you better at it. This guide is intended for people without photography backgrounds who want to understand how to get the most out of their cameras.
Megapixels Don't Really Matter