It’s easy to show your best self when you’re getting what you want. When you get the elected position you wanted, the grade you wanted, the college acceptance you wanted, etc., you’ve got a pre-existing lift that makes it easier to be nice, polite, and grateful.
But how do you behave when things don’t go your way?
When someone else gets elected club president over you, do you congratulate them? Or do you criticize the club’s choice?
When you come up short of the “A” you wanted, do you thank the teacher for spending time helping you after school and try to do even better next semester? Or do you blame the teacher and complain that you couldn’t get extra credit?
When a college you really wanted to attend doesn’t admit you, do you find a way to be happy for those who got in? Or do you belittle their accomplishments and claim one of their spots should have been yours?
And here’s the most important question—if your behavior depends on whether or not you get what you want, which version is the real you?
People will assume great things about you if you can be your best self, even on a bad day.