In any career, there’s a constant need to be improving yourself. Working at your craft, refining your skills, getting better and having deeper understanding of what you do. The hunger to be better – to succeed – is vital to driving us to success.

You’ve probably read a lot about things successful people do daily to get where they are. Everything from rising early to setting lots of goals; while those particular tips may or may not be true, the key that many fail to grasp is that it’s not the method that these people used to become successful that matters.

What matters is that they set out to be better than everyone else.

That hunger to be a better at what you do is something that many fail to listen to and quickly become comfortable. What you need to realize is that there are thousands of other people that do the exact same thing as you in your city and are competing with you to be the best too.

Many people – especially those looking to create a startup or wishing to become an entrepreneur – get caught up in the things they should be doing to get there. Reading posts about habits they need to adopt, ways their life should be or trying different strategies of successful people in order to motivate themselves to do more.

But it’s missing the point.

You can’t be better by just copying a technique.

You can’t be better by reading posts about how to be better.

You don’t need early mornings, a stack of goals or to learn how to say no – although those traits are useful – what you really need, is to remember that it’s you against the world out there. Nobody else is going to set your destiny for you or make you successful but you. It’s you versus everyone else that’s doing the exact same thing as you. Does that make you feel small?

Imagine this: you’re a web developer and there’s the perfect job at a dream company in your city. You want to apply for it, but you discover that every other web developer in the city has as well. Why would they pick you out of all of those people?

If you don’t know why they would, think about what it would take for them to choose you and do it. Make a small step toward that goal. Write down what that would be. Seek after it, every day. You are not born special, so make yourself special. Make a conscious choice to be better.

When you discover something you’re truly hungry to learn – your passion – seek it out. Do literally everything you can on a daily basis to get to that goal; drop everything and do everything you can to become the best at what you do. It might seem like a huge task at first, taking steps toward a lofty goal, so take it one day at a time.

If you’re still hungry for more after you’ve done it a few times, you’re doing the right thing. Keep going.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t give back to the community or share your knowledge with others. The only way we can improve ourselves is learning from others, but you should strive to do things others aren’t doing as well.

If you’re not hungry to be better than the crowd, then maybe you’re doing the wrong thing. It’s easy to just be as good as everyone else, to learn the things everyone else is learning. To go to conferences and just follow the latest trends. To float along like the others in your industry.

Do you want to be in the same boat as everyone else, or 500 meters ahead of them? Do you think successful people follow trends, or do they set them?

Screw comfort, let’s do cool shit.

Do stuff nobody else is doing.

Try something hard.

Take a risk.

Set yourself apart.

Make yourself better.

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