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What’s one thing you’re most proud of?

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Every month, I co-host an entrepreneur dinner in NYC with Michael Fishman, and when we go around the table introducing each other, Michael and I always ask people to brag about themselves.

It’s funny — people LOVE bragging about themselves, but it’s not socially acceptable. So when you make it socially acceptable, you discover the most amazing things about people.

So today, I want to know: What’s one thing you’re incredibly proud of? It could be paying off your debt, or working out, or even getting over a social phobia to talk to someone at a bar.

Share it below in the comments. Don’t be afraid to brag!

UPDATE: Comments are closed, but check out the 400+ amazing things IWT readers like you are doing!

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  1. I’ve sold more than 5,000 copies of my self-published e-books, 3,000 of which are of “The Marinara Murders,” a novel that I really really like. It’s the closest any of my books has ever come to turning out how I envisioned it: a simple mystery with some family comedy.

    A few more of these and maybe I can start to thinking about living the passive income dream! 🙂

  2. I got over my fear of talking to women and actually met my girlfriend on my first try.

    I trained for my blackbelt in TaeKwonDo, while passing difficult exams in college.

  3. I lost 57 pounds in 6 months with basic diet and exercise. For my diet, which I intend to sustain for life, I didn’t do anything crazy, and I didn’t obsessively count calories. I’m just basically aware of what I eat now, and I don’t drink soda, eat at night, or snack between meals (except on cheat day, when I go completely bonkers). For exercise, I ran on a treadmill for 35 minutes 3 times per week. After I reached my goal weight, I was less disciplined, but I’m still running, and I plan to run a 1/2 marathon at a 10-minute mile pace next Sunday.

    • Sounds like the diet from “The 4 Hour Body”. I’ve been doing the same thing, and its been incredibly effective.

  4. I’m most proud of being “just” 20 years old and knowing what I want out of life,
    unlike my 21 yr + friends who are mostly still at uni studying something random with the idea of getting “a job” once they leave.

    I have eschewed a 3-5 year stint at university in order to spend a year working and studying on my own terms to work out what I actually wanted to do. Since Aug 2011, I’ve learnt about Financial Independence, being self-employed, and location independence – and have found a path that I love, that will take me there: diet & exercise coaching/personal training.
    Even though externally I may appear to be “behind” my friends & others my age on the “ladder of success”, (I’m still working a hospitality job while I grow my side income to become my main income) I consider myself to be waay ahead on the long-term scale:

    I know what I want out of life and am working towards it – and that for me, at 20 years old, is something I am incredibly proud of.

    • Good for you, Annika! You’re not alone. My 18 year old daughter, like you, is bucking the typical path. More than laughing all the way to the bank, it’s about being in control of your destiny!

    • Annika – youth and wisdom – inspiring. You are so right…I hope your friends read the post!

  5. I apologize in advance for the long story. But I don’t get to tell this often, and I’m extremely proud of it.

    After the Fall 1999 semester, at the age of 20, I dropped out of college because I thought I wanted to be a rock star. I was halfway through my junior year as an electrical engineering major (I really just stayed home from class and drank all the time instead of doing any work); I had around a 2.3 GPA. After about five years, I decided I was going to move to Austin, TX to start my band. I had also decided that I would go back to school to get a Ph.D. in Physics “on the side.”

    When I called the University of Texas to inquire about transferring, the admissions officer I spoke with told me to not even bother applying — the previous year, the GPA cutoff for transfer applicants was 3.6, and it would take me too long to get my average that high (they didn’t accept transfer students in their senior year). Furthermore, I had been out of school for five years, and she said the admissions board would view me as unlikely to succeed after such a long layoff, which would seriously damage my chances. I hung up the phone and immediately decided that I was going to the University of Texas.

    About a month before I moved to Austin, I decided to visit my old high school’s college counselor and ask her advice on my plan — I had a letter of recommendation from every job I had ever worked at, and I intended to bring it the UT Admissions Department to show them I work hard, and I simply wasn’t mature enough to handle college my first time around. As it happens, she knew the UT Director of Admissions (they were old friends) and she got me a one-on-one meeting with him! I stated my case and he told me that, if I did well in certain classes at Austin Community College, he would grant me admission despite my GPA. A year and a half later, I had earned my way into the UT Physics Department, and I loved physics so much that music went completely to the wayside.

    Even though I hadn’t taken a physics class in 10 years, I worked my butt off at UT and won multiple performance-based scholarships from the department (3), a research fellowship, an undergraduate research award, and when I graduated in 2008 I was chosen as a Dean’s Honored Graduate of the College of Science, an honor reserved for around 1% of the UT College of Science’s graduates (that year, there were 18 of us out of just under 1,800 graduates). Out of the Dean’s Honored Graduates, I was selected to give the commencement speech for the College of Science — it was truly an honor to speak to over 3,000 people that day and share what I learned from my experience. It is also, to this day, the proudest moment of my life.

    I am now in my fifth year of grad school, working toward my Ph.D. So far in grad school, I scored highest among my class on the 9-hour written qualifying exam (for Ph.D. candidacy). I also earned a research presentation award, a teaching award, and a NASA GSRP Fellowship, which also allowed me to work at a NASA center two summers ago (it was awesome!).

    • This is awesome! Congratulations!

    • Very inspiring story!

    • Long Story didn’t bother me – thanks for sharing!
      Keep the inspiration and searching for your dreams!

    • That’s fantastic Andrew, great story!!!

    • Wow! What an awesome story! You have totally inspired me!

    • You are Incredible and Awe-Inspiring Andrew…

    • Hi Andrew,

      Very inspiring, thanks for sharing!

      Good luck on all your future plans! 🙂

    • Andrew, you ARE a Rockstar…just in a different field than you thought.

    • Hasim Khorakiwala Link to this comment

      Great Story Andrew. Keep proving all the nay sayers wrong.

    • Wow. That is amazing. Congrats!!

    • I love this story. Amazing.

    • congratulations!! none of this would have happened if you had taken “no” for an answer. way to persevere.

    • WOW, everyone! Thank you so much for all the positive feedback, it means a lot to me. It’s amazing to think my story inspired some of you.

    • Andrew, it’s amazing! You are a new role model for rock stars!

    • This is a wonderful story. I’m proud to hear my alma mater gave you a chance, and I’m excited to hear how well you’ve done with it. Best wishes to you.

    • Heather Jackson Link to this comment

      Don’t forget about Brian May, guitarist from Queen. He was most of the way through a PhD in astrophysics at Imperial College London (my alma mater) in the 1970s when the band started to take off and he left. More than 30 years later, he came back and finished his thesis and became Dr Brian May in 2008. So you wouldn’t be the only rocker physicist!

    • Great story. Way to go for it! Congrats.

    • Dr. Brenda Thompson-El Link to this comment

      I love your story! You should be very proud and keep telling this story because it is inspiring.

  6. That I have earned people’s respect with my work ethic in sport and business, and folks look up to me for inspiration.
    That I never have to look behind my shoulder due to my honesty.
    That I can be in the moment enough regularly to stop and smell the roses, enjoy a cool breeze, and just watch the clouds.

  7. I’m proud that I have been traveling the world for the past 10 years working interesting jobs and not waitress jobs, learning five languages on the way, and that I haven’t had a boss in 3 years while still living an awesome life.

  8. I am proud of a couple of things that were really hard for me – passing my musical instrument exams with distinctions took a lot of hard work and practice for me. Getting my Masters degree was really challenging and I’m proud of that. Mainly, however, I am proud of sticking with unbelievably painful therapy until I got my head sorted and figured out what was really going on for me. I’m now a much more balanced person who has recovered from post-traumatic stress disorder and has the potential to live life again. I can reflect on my own motivations and thought processes, and get over patterns that are not helping me (like abdicating financial responsibility to my husband).

  9. I am most proud that I left a PhD program at Stanford right after I got the MA and I started to decide what life would look like on my own terms.

    I am extremely type A and have always followed the rules of what I am supposed to do with my life. I was miserable in school, and it was taking a huge toll on me, but quitting was incredibly hard because it meant giving up a dream that I’d had since I was 12 or 13.

    Since leaving school, I have started to do Bikram yoga and lost 30 pounds, I have learned new skills that I was always interested in (cooking, some Python). I leave a job that I love at 5 PM on Friday and don’t think about it again until 9 AM on Monday. I gave myself a year to focus on myself and not think long-term about my life’s calling, and it has already been the best thing I’ve ever done, and I’m not even 4 months into the year. 🙂

    • Wow,
      I love hearing about others finding their path and walking it with confidence. This year has been one of many life altering changes for me and I am still not sure what I am supposed to be doing. If anything I am proud of my two loving children and that I hang on to hope and gratitude most of the time. 🙂


  10. Can only toot my horn anonymously Link to this comment

    I’m proudest of 2 things:
    1) I went through the public school system (kind of quickly–college degree and in Fortune 500 company by 19), but was burned out on learning. After a few years, my natural curiosity returned. I went on to homeschool my girls, using the opposite techniques of everything I learned from my bad experiences. Both my girls went on to great colleges, won multiple scholarships and awards, and all of us continue learning (formally or otherwise) to this day. My most recent endeavors have been learning Zulu, theoretical physics, studying Nordic sagas, mastering French pastry, and training previously unhandled adult horses. Tomorrow? Anything goes!
    2) I was in a meeting with a very well known software billionaire years ago. He threw most executives out of the meeting because they were too “ignorant” to understand him (he must have been channeling Dr. Sheldon Cooper). I, a lowly tech writer, stayed, and we had a fascinating discussion of the interdependence of our software on his.