Are we doing ourselves a service when we compare ourselves to others?
Somebody else will always be smarter, more accomplished, more affluent, better looking, or better at that thing than we are.
We can all appreciate that reality, but why do we push ourselves so far toward the other end of the self-worth spectrum?
And when we do, is that healthy?
I got thinking about this after listening to a great podcast about Silver Medal winners and the psychology of how we see ourselves when we come second; sure, that study was about top performers rather than average people, but when you think about it, we all have ONE THING we are fantastic at. We are otherwise very much like everyone else, ordinary people.
Just because someone is a star or apparently sensational at many things does not mean they are out of our league; of that, they are out of anyone else’s – we all share insecurities, failings, and wayward aspirations. Life is full of chances. Most chances are never taken, so they are missed. Many might fail, but we never know if we never take a chance.
We are all riding the same ball through space at precisely the same speed, so who sees themselves as slightly better or slightly worse at anything is virtually invisible and indistinguishable from any other.
If the purpose of life is to revel in it, to enjoy each moment – sucking every drop of joy we can squeeze from every, then we should all be sucking and squeezing every day.
If the purpose of life is to be straight, pure, idealistic, driven, and accomplished at something more substantial than ourselves, which long outlives us, then we should be doing that all the time.
Why can’t we do both?
Nothing stops us unless we choose to stop.
Some people can’t stop, and that’s just fine, but the saddest part is that some people never start.
We all need a purpose in life. Ideally, one we choose. If we can’t decide, we can always borrow someone else’s and make it our own – but down the path, we cannot sustain ourselves living someone else’s dream.
I am good at some things, fantastic at others, but most of all, I am great at remembering special moments nobody else remembers – they drive me to distraction sometimes. Still, mostly they drive my understanding of who I am and what I am ‘meant to be doing’ (if there is such a thing), and I enjoy every one of these moments when they happen and over again in my mind when I remember them.