Have you noticed how easy getting sucked in to the narratives of other people is? I see this all the time online where people are obsessed with how many followers they have, zoning in on their website visitors, likes, or page views. Seeking external validation distracts us from our true mission. How can you expect to run your race when you’re too busy gawking at the actions of others?
Stop caring about what others are doing, and start doing your own thing. You do not have to mimic others to find success. You need to be yourself. You need to run your own race. I admit, I have to sometimes remind myself to keep my blinders on. I imagine myself a race horse, focused on doing the best I can, blocking out what other people are doing. Nothing kills ambition faster than making comparisons to others.
While comparison is healthy as a mode of competition, comparison is not healthy when you become jealous of others. Jealousy is a useless emotion, a destructive emotion that weak people use because they wield no better weapons. What often happens is that jealousy makes us forget our own purpose. We look at the horse next to us, trip, and fall in a spectacular display of flailing limbs and a plume of dust.
Staying on Task
Reminding ourselves regularly of our mission and goals is the best way to stay focused. This distraction heavy world makes losing our way very easy. If you have not written out your mission statement, do it. If you are not familiar with what a mission statement is, look it up online.
Every morning I look at my mission statement and my three most important life goals. My day is framed by my future, not by the present. I try to progress on at least one of my big goals every day. Then I feel accomplished even if nothing else goes my way that day. Momentum is tough to stop once started.
An easy way to stop momentum; though, is by removing your blinders and trying to run someone else’s race. There is no one else like you in the world. You have a mission that is so unique and personal that no one else could ever replicate it. But, are you living that mission, are you following that passion or are you seeing the success of others and getting sidetracked, thinking maybe their way is the right way?
In truth, there is no right or wrong way for you to get where you want to go, and most best practices are only practices that have worked for certain people. When you get right down to success you find that there is no rule book or correct way to win. What there is, is the way that fulfills you. Only you can answer that. No one else. Not your grandma. Or your dad. Or a self-help counselor. You, and you alone must figure out what fulfills you and then decide to follow that path regardless of what the other horses are doing.
If you believe in what you are doing, and you are good at it, then eventually you will find success. Don’t get discourage when you do not become an overnight success. Most overnight successes happened over decades.
You could choose to look at the other muscled horses prancing around. Some of them enjoy the attention, some of them you know of because of their vanity. They are perfectly groomed, fit, and healthy. They want the looks, the oooos and ahhhs. They want the vanity interactions. And very often that’s what you are comparing yourself to, the calculated image someone has created in the press or online. When you pull away the Wizard of Oz curtain you find a small person capable of creating or giving no real value.
Running Your Race
Of course there are those doing much better than you. But, do you know what? There will always be a faster horse, a stronger horse than you. That’s ok. The success of another does not devalue your own success. In this new economy there is more than enough spoils to go around, because succeeding requires you create, not duplicate. Add to, not take.
Those that don’t understand the limitless resources of the game we’re playing right now will always compare themselves to others, thinking life is a zero sum game where one wins and the other loses. That thinking is simply invalid in today’s age. You can win. I can win. Your sister can win. You kid can win. We all can win at the same time.
So, instead of being frustrated or jealous at the success of others, be happy. Know that you are headed that way too. But, please, just keep your blinders on. No one can the run the race like you do.