What does it mean to be a competent person? As adults, there are few among us who feel as though we are completely competent in life, as though we could not improve any more, as though we have reached a full level of competency, skill, and ability in our chosen field. And for those among us who do feel that the highest level of competency has been achieved in our chosen field, what of competency in other areas of life? In the home? Amongst friends? With one’s children, spouse, or extended family?

In a time where the shackles of ancient suppression have vanished and in a time where one’s ability to excel truly depends upon one’s own incentive and desire to achieve greatness, the truth of the matter is that we self-criticize ourselves more so than anyone else does. If one wants to see one’s greatest personal critic, one must look in a mirror. Competency is not something that can be learned or studied, and while a certain degree of self-criticism is most definitely healthy, this is not the path to achieving competence either.

The Oxford Dictionary of American English defines competence as: “The ability to do something successfully or efficiently”. This is all there is to competence. It is quite simple when broken down, and it is only our own doubts and personal worries about achieving competence in all sectors of life that we make it more complicated than it needs to be.

Achieving Competency in Day to Day Life

So how does one then achieve competence? One achieves competence by creating an iron will to become better. One can never be satisfied with where one is at any given moment in time. Upon waking up in the morning, one must ask oneself, “How can I do better in life today than I did yesterday?” This can be displayed in anything as simple as spending an extra half hour with the kids or the spouse at night rather than spending that half hour in front of the television, or by only taking a half hour lunch break at work and then getting back to the tasks of the day rather than taking the full hour.

Competence means garnering the right mind set to always push oneself further and further to accomplish more and more. Competence means not getting lazy or satisfied with the status quo. Competence means studying the successes of others and applying their workable techniques to one’s own life. Most of all though, competence means demanding a greatness from oneself that cannot be achieved over night, but rather is a greatness that one must continually work at day after day after day, constantly along the way finding new levels of happiness and joy in life with each new monumental success and achievement gained as a result of this lifestyle. In the end, the only person responsible for one’s own happiness is oneself, so why not make the best of it?