To feel fulfilled, to be comfortable in your own skin, you must like yourself. You must look in the mirror and, despite being imperfect, you must enjoy what makes you, you.
There are many people with endless wealth and talent who’ve achieved things beyond our wildest dreams who will never feel good about themselves. There are others with extremely limited resources and no talent who’ve achieved nothing yet feel great about themselves. Why is this the case?
It turns out that how we feel about ourselves has little to do with external factors such as wealth or praise, despite how vigorously society promotes those values. How you feel about yourself—your self-esteem—is largely determined by three factors that are essentially out of your control.
First, and probably most impactful, is how you compare with your same-sex parent. The question being, have you achieved more or less than that parent? This gives an advantage in the happiness department to those of us from less well-off backgrounds.