I like to keep score. There, I said it. Not just with games (I generally dislike games with subjective scoring methods by the way) but with regular life. And not just against others, but in more general terms I ask myself how I’m doing with something. “Am I doing a good job? Am I working hard? Was that last meeting successful?”
Do you do that too? Maybe you give yourself a score at work, volunteer organization, church or sports team. Whatever the place is might be irrelevant for now but many of us have mentally given ourselves an A+, C- or even pass/fail grade for some of the things we do.
Now, this next thought is very incomplete so don’t shoot me, but within all those organizations there are various actions that we could grade ourselves on. For simplicity we’ll call them boxes that need to be checked; Attendance, work ethic, input given, relationships built, win/loss record, belief, knowledge gained, concern for others, orderliness, timeliness, and many others. Check Check Check!
Two questions I’ve considered recently in this regard:
Should I be grading myself on a curve? This decision will greatly impact the outcome of participation. Some times and in some places it IS good to compare to others and determine the grade/score/performance as something framed in the context of the group. Some times it is not.
What if I’ve been checking the wrong boxes? I’ll put it like this… an A+/pass/excellent grade doing the wrong things ain’t good. I may be giving myself a great score at checking these boxes. Maybe I should spend more time looking at value of the boxes themselves, rather than my current score.
The only thing worse than failure is massive success at something that doesn’t matter