The tyranny of the others

This isn’t mine, but is the response my wife, Kim, gave me to my last post. I post it here, because I thought it was a very apropos response to me and might apply to others:

Ah, other people. They’re fitter, thinner, richer, smarter, and have nice cars and attractive children. They seem to sail through life, meeting goals and exceeding expectations like a smiling athlete leaving the tunnel to run out onto the field, high-fiving a throng of adoring fans. They are just so wonderful and perfect.

The problem with comparing ourselves with these magic folk is that we tend to see them in a very skewed way. We string together their accomplishments and ask ourselves why we, weak and feeble, cannot do what they do. We don’t take into consideration, either because we fail to see it or simply do not know, how many failures and restarts they’ve had along the way. We don’t know if what they do represents a fraction of what they themselves wish to do. We don’t know what darkness lies beneath their seemingly effortless perfection, what demons they restrain every day to go out into the world and function. So much of success and failure is perception.

Ultimately, you are on your path in this moment in time. You are deciding what you want to do and taking the steps to get there. What others are doing is irrelevant. They are not climbing your path. You will not suffer their defeats or enjoy their successes.

The only thing you need to name is what you want. And go after it. Let the others worry about their side of the street.

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