There are lies, damned lies and statistics. The latter is frequently used to prove success when there is none. As the Harvard Business Review points out, in order to win, you have to have a clear goal for what winning means.
Photo by Garrett Rooney
While the blog tackles the problem from the perspective of running a business, the principles can be applied to your personal life as well. It's great to feel good because you're saving money, but it won't mean much if you don't have a target net worth. The important thing is to know the definition of winning:
In many businesses, however, people have no clue what winning would mean. More profits? A higher stock price? How can I affect those? Maybe "winning" just means making my KPIs -- or not getting laid off. Employees can't get excited about winning, because they never know whether they're winning or not. They need a score to tell them.
Most of us have a tendency to measure our success anyway and, in the absence of a clear goal, we can take that thought process to an unproductive or harmful place (like comparing ourselves to our coworkers). Instead, make sure that the metric you're using to measure success has a tangible goal attached to the end of it.
A Winning Culture Keeps Score [Harvard Business Review]