Once when I was swimming in the swamps of self-pity, hating that everyone on my social media networks were doing so much with their lives while I … didn’t, I slammed my computer shut and shunned it for the rest of the evening. Screw social media and all of my friend’s glistening lives! I stared up at my ceiling wondering how I could stop this comparing.
Coming up short, I ran straight to my husband and began to wallow. He listened to me patiently, nodding his head without understanding my insecurities at all. He is of another species –– unable to give a shit what anyone else thinks of him. I try my hardest to emulate his way of life, but I just can’t. I care.
So after about twenty minutes of me spewing off a monologue, trying to find out how I can overcome my addiction to compare my life to everyone else’s, he said the most amazing thing: “Why are you comparing your life to mediocrity?”
I looked at him cockeyed. “My friends aren’t mediocre,” I said.
He returned my stare with raised eyebrows. “Do you think that those photos you flick through are real? They’re snapshots. Those are fake.”
“Okay, so what do you suggest?” I asked him.
He drummed his fingers on the table. “I suggest you strive to follow the example of those who have truly made something of themselves,” he said. “Who do you admire?”
“Deepak Chopra,” I said. “Sting! J.K. Rowling!”
“Good,” he said, holding his hand up. “Now, instead of comparing your life to your friends, why not be ambitious? Strive to lead a grander life.”
I let this thought sink in for a few seconds. As I sat there and let my mind wander, I realized how much I loved the idea of breaking apart from the pack, growing beyond the boundaries of snapshots. After all, when I really thought of it, the only reason I felt bothered by my friends’ seemingly perfect lives was because I was not living my own perfect life. For me, my ideal life consisted of the following:
- Writing a book
- Publishing the book
- Speaking globally about my book
- Helping change the lives of millions of people who read my book and hear me speak.
And so, I have set new goals for myself that have nothing to do with anyone else’s. Mine are all my own, and they have nothing to do with what my 300+ “friends” are doing on the Internet. It doesn’t matter.
My three idols –– Deepak, Sting and Rowling –– will remain forever out of reach for me. They are the ideals, the gradiose philosopher and artists that I will strive to become. As long as I have dreams to chase, I will run as fast as I can until another race begins.