I’ve realized something over the last (almost) four years…no matter how well you succeed in striving to hit a goal, you are always comparing yourself to others who have “done better.” But what does “done better” really mean? Does it mean that someone lost more weight than you? Does it mean someone lost it quicker than you? Does it mean that someone makes more money than you? Well, since we are all human and all in the habit of comparing ourselves to friends, family and co-workers who surround us (and in some cases, we find ourselves making comparisons with people whom we’ve never even met).
There are some good things that can come from these types of comparisons, but for the most part, comparing any accomplishments we make with those of other people is downright useless. I was talking with a neighbor at the grocery store the other day. I noticed that he has lost quite a bit of weight. I know he’s been working on it, as he was attending Weight Watchers meetings periodically and I’ve also seen him walking up and down the main road outside my neighborhood. But I hadn’t seen him in a while, so his weight loss was dramatic and noticeable. Now, I know it can be tricky to mention weight loss to someone, but given the fact that I knew he’d been working on it, I would be remiss not to say something. He thanked me and told me he’d lost about 50 pounds. I congratulated him. Unfortunately, he didn’t leave it there. He went on to compare his accomplishment to mine. I could tell he felt bad that he hasn’t lost as much as I have. He needs to take his own journey, and I told him as much. What he did is a huge accomplishment! He should be shouting it from the rooftops, he should be encouraging others – who are interested – to come along for the ride. He should not be bummed that he hasn’t done what I’ve done.
Now, I have a confession to make. I have to work on this problem with myself! I do look at others who have done more, done it quicker or done it better and I wonder what I could have done differently to change my path. But then, I get random Facebook messages out of the blue from a nationally known magazine and I realize that it doesn’t matter the road that others have taken, because I took the road that I was supposed to take and I am where I’m supposed to be. Sometimes that road was less traveled, but other times it was a full-on traffic jam, but the entirety of that road was mine to travel as I saw fit.
So, I will work on making sure that I don’t try to hitchhike onto someone else’s Road Trip, but I will make sure that I support and encourage everyone along the way. And I hope that you will do the same, because when we all get to where we’re going, it should be one helluva party!