Back in June, Ja Morant was selected as the #2 overall pick in the NBA draft. Very few people would have predicted this event four years ago. In fact, when he attended a college prospect camp while in high school, the organizers of the event didn’t even think he was good enough to play in the “Top” gym. The one and only Division I offer he received from Murray State materialized when an assistant coach went to the concession stand at the event and saw Ja after strolling into the “Back Gym,” which was located next to the food. Good thing he was hungry.

One of the many things I love about this story is the importance of us keeping our own scoreboard. Our talents, capabilities, and achievements will not always win the approval of others. That’s right, you can be a highly capable person who is producing high level work and remain under appreciated and undervalued. What should you do? Keep going.

It’s critical that we don’t pursue things simply so that someone or something validates us. Instead, we should strive to accomplish what matters most to us because we value it. If the validation comes as well, fine, but don’t allow your perceived success to hinge on things you can’t control. Seek feedback in the process and learn from others, but don’t allow them to define your success.