Derek Sivers

Programmer, writer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Anything You Want” → How do you grade yourself?

In New York City, there are dozens of buildings that say “TRUMP” on them. As I was driving about an hour into the rural countryside, I even saw a “Donald J. Trump park.”

It made me wonder if he grades himself by how many valuable properties bear his name. Plenty of real estate tycoons have made billions without putting their names on everything, but maybe that’s his measure.

We all grade ourselves by different measures:

For me, it’s how many useful things I create, whether songs, companies, articles, websites, or anything else. If I create something that’s not useful to others, it doesn’t count. But I’m also not interested in doing something useful unless it needs my creative input.

How do you grade yourself?

It’s important to know in advance, to make sure you’re staying focused on what’s honestly important to you, instead of doing what others think you should.

Anything You Want - book cover