career anxietyOur worst critics occupy our own minds.

Our own internal dialogue can be worse than a Republican presidential nomination debate.

Mostly, we suspect, we judge ourselves against the perceived success of our peers and develop what Alain de Botton terms ‘career anxiety’.

We measure our own success against a constantly shifting set of goal posts that never quite allow us to get anywhere. It’s just like a crazy dog chasing his tail.

In this 2009 TED talk Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure — and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work.

As the world speeds up and technology augments the perceived need to compete even more – this problem is sure to become even more acute.