Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that I am more content with my life when I am not comparing myself to others, but just focusing on the things that matter to me.
This has been a hard revelation to grasp, because my brain fixates on the accomplishments of others. It's hard not to compare yourself to others in our society where we idolize and glamorize perfection. I do it more than I like to admit. And I compare myself to people who are light years away from me: Like the Sheryl Sandberg's of the world who are "doing it all," work, family, breaking glass ceilings... or like the Hillary Clinton's of the world who tirelessly drive themselves through the political gauntlet with the supreme goal of being President of the United States. Or Oprah Winfrey... who has her own TV network, lifestyle publication and has the ability to turn things into gold by merely mentioning a name.
I can't help but wonder "how can I compete with all that? What have I done?"
We all ask ourselves these questions at some point in our lives, and have to be honest with ourselves in what we want out of life. Do I want to have a life in politics? No. Do I want to work toward being a Chief Operating Officer of a Fortune 500 organization? No. Do I want to pursue a career in journalism and have my own talk show some day? No.
In all of these realizations, the focus becomes clear. The things that I covet begin to unravel, and all I am left with is... me.
What does "me" want to do? Run a marathon someday. Do 100 pushups on my toes. Write a book full of movie lines that you can use in every conversational situation (I'm no daisy). Invent a floating golf ball with GPS tracking that you can retrieve with a drone. Figure out a way to get my 4 year old poinsettia to re-bloom at the right time of the year. Produce a documentary about the neurotic things runners do to prepare for a 5K.
I can totally do those things.
I'm sure Sheryl Sandberg, Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey are successful because they have found rewarding work and contentment with their own goals in life. Everyone deserves that, but the goals you choose should be your own and not comparable to anyone else. You were not put on this earth to live the life of someone else. You were put on this earth to live your own life.
Sometimes we forget our self when we get caught up in other people's accomplishments. Being true to YOU will lead to contentment and open new pathways that you would not have imagined before. You know yourself best -- and you will not be selfish if you give yourself full permission to focus on YOU.
And before you know it, you will realize that nothing compares to you.