So, how much of your ego and self worth is dependent on making the numbers at work acceptable or the grades that result from your work at school? Is it more important than the actual work you did?
That number is what counts when it comes to making the higher powers happy, but it might not really be an accurate reflection of the effort you put in, or your opinion of your own work, or even the true quality of that work. That number means progress or setback, no matter what you accomplished or learned. The true story may be very different.
You may have made some personal progress and become better at your job, or learned something by investigating a tangent that was not recognized and credited. Neither of these will be reflected in the magic number, but both might give you more satisfaction, and be better in the long run for you, as long as you can overcome the temporary bad feedback.
For the last month at my new chef position I have put all my skill, and enough dirty cook tricks to fill a book into making my numbers and keeping the customers happy. Everyone was happy with my work, customers, servers, and the cooks, but I knew I would be screwed unless the numbers were good, and praise the kitchen gods (St. Henkel, St. Hobart), I rocked the numbers. The last month's 'food cost', a ratio of the material cost of the ingredients compared to the sales, was 34.4%, this month, 28.8%. In the eyes of the owners, I am now the prospective golden child. I am one happy overlord. But much more important is the fact that I did it without riding my cooks too hard, and the sales are picking up. I am happy as hell, because now that the numbers reflect my efforts, I have some way to back up the decisions I make.
I would say that the massive ego rush and sense of smug satisfaction I am feeling is about 60% numbers, and 40% pride in the work I did, it's nice to do good work, but it's important that it is relevant to the real world.
One can try ones best, do good work, and still fail to accomplish a goal. How does this make you feel when it happens to you? Or have you ever lucked out and made the grade without even trying?, one of those great moments where you made it look easy, because it was easy.
"you can't drink milk with lobster"
I'm sure my chef/owner would disagree though.
"familiarity breeds contempt"