Chidike Okeem, on awards and recognition

The following is from a Twitter thread posted by Chidike Okeem, combined & reposted with his permission.




It's so important to design your life in such a way that awards & recognition are not central to your identity.

Doing excellent work should be central to your identity—irrespective of whether that work is awarded and recognized.

When awards and recognition are central to your identity, it is extremely easy for people to control you.

Awards are decided by extremely fallible human beings. They're not objective measures of brilliance. Just focus on being great.

People can deny you awards and accolades, but they cannot take away your greatness. Chase greatness and history will remember you kindly.

Do you want to stunt someone's growth? The easiest way to do it is to fulsomely praise and reward their mediocrity. They'll NEVER improve.

Praise is often used as a tool of suppression and control. It's so powerful because it's a sugary killer.

Do you know why Nigerians come to America and do great things? Nigerian parents don't praise their kids for every little achievement.

"Great job! I am SO proud of you!" is not something Nigerian parents say. Achievement is an expectation—and there's always more to achieve.

We live in a society where praise is too easily given. We have to realize that undeserved praise is the enemy of true achievement.
"Self-esteem comes from achievement—not from lax standards and false praise."—Condoleezza Rice
Calling a mediocre person brilliant is not encouragement. It is suppression. You are simply making mediocrity that person's ceiling.

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