“Hold yourself to a higher standard than anyone else expects of you. Never excuse yourself.“
This is among the few quotes which I try to adhere to in my life. I expect myself to perform better, act better, be better. Better than I always am.This is a continual drive to improve.Last night’s improv show is a good example of it. After the show a lot of people came by, shook my hand, told me they had a good time. I’m glad they enjoyed the show. But I wasn’t satisfied. There were numerous times during the show when I was off. I missed a beat, or I locked up, or I stuttered through some setup.
I always thought there was, or would be, something I was naturally good at. As a child I believed people were born with innate skills and child prodigies existed without lots of work or practice. Eventually I came to realize how wrong I was and that the only way was to improve on the skills I have. And so I drive myself.
I know I’m not unique in this desire. But to me this is part of my guiding principles: I expect myself to get better.
Of course sometimes I slack. Sometimes I don’t work. Sometimes I can’t get motivated. And those are times I’m even more frustrated. The work piles up and makes it even more intimidating to get it done. But when I do get off my ass and work, I feel the euphoria of success. That euphoria is amazing.
To stand on stage, have come up in that instant with a funny one-liner, said it with perfect timing, and the audience laughter fills my ears. Those are the moments I live for. But I will always hold myself to these higher standards.