Have you ever read an article or biography and wanted to "be" just like that person? Or how about, you read an excerpt from someone's life and find yourself saying, "of course, that's why they succeeded."
We are really good at looking back at the lives of others and connecting the dots for them. Rationalizing and internalizing their path and journey to success and making it sound so perfect and "but of course."
Interestingly, we have such a hard time doing the same for ourselves. We have such a hard time being able to take on an objective perspective, take a few steps to the side or back, and look to see what our choices, our decisions and our environment have to say about us.
We say things like...
Well, I don't have the resources....
I don't have the money....
If I had a trust fund I would be able to accomplish what they did....
If I had the mentor they had, I would have also achieved what they achieved....
These are the words we often use to justify our excuses and keep ourselves from doing the work.
And so, what do we do when we begin to read these articles or books or listen to these interviews, is instead of gaining momentum and energy and inspiration, we go ahead and look to replicate all that they have and their exact process so that we can have exactly what they have. We quickly undermine what we have and what we have been through.
We choose the easy route.
We choose to focus on others instead of ourselves and then we compare, making the it all about having perfect start and all the right elements in place.
We begin to look outward instead of inward.
THREE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD START RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE
1. YOU LEARN TO INCREASE YOUR SELF WORTH
The easy thing to do is to focus on others.
To compare ourselves to others.
To minimize our life and the importance and impact of our own life experiences and how they have and can continue to shape us.
What we can do instead, so that we stop wasting time thinking about where we could have been if we only had what they have, is to appreciate what we do have.
GRATITUDE and APPRECIATION.
It is always easier to see the external results and lives of others. This make it easier to connect unlikely dots and see patterns. You are at distance and also less emotionally connected which is why you can see the patterns. In contrast, for your own life, you are soo close that you cannot yet see the patterns and themes evolving.
You cannot see the richness in your life because all of your focus and attention is on the lives of others.
So why is it so hard to view your own life with this same degree of perspective and distance?
ATTACHMENT - you are so attached to having what others have that you focus on them more than yourself. You have detached from your goals, ambitions, dreams and desires and attached yourself to the outcomes of others.
Here are three things you can do to widen perspective and be able to see the dots in your life for what they are with the same level of objectivity you view others.
1. daily journaling about your day and thoughts - if you could coach yourself, what would you say to yourself? By writing and externalizing your thoughts and emotions, you can begin to see what is within with greater clarity and perspective
2. weekly reflections on what you believe your thoughts and journal entries have to say about yourself. You can only begin to connect the dots of your life in hindsight and this involves taking a wider weekly perspective to begin to notice the patterns.
3. daily habit to ask yourself important questions such as, "Have I truly given my best this week?," "have I lived up to my commitments?," "did I focus more on what I don't have and what others do than focusing on what I do have?" Questions help us direct our focus inward. They help re-engage the commitment level and raise the level of personal responsibility and increase awareness to our personal power.
We should look towards others for inspiration and creativity. We must look towards our fellow man and encourage them to keep raising the standard of excellence so that we have a path of values to follow versus a path of tips, trick and hacks.
2. LEARN TO MASTER YOUR RACE
Everyone is running a different race
When we look to compare ourselves to others, what we are doing, is taking their results and glorifying their circumstances. This further makes it harder for us to see our circumstances as standing a chance because we have minimized them so much.
Hindsight - you say to yourself, "I would become who they became if I had what they had."
Foresight - you say to yourself, "I will become who I choose to be based on what I believe I am capable of doing with what I have."
The elephant in the room is: we know the outcome they achieved so it is easier to connect them and direct them to a common goal.
One is easy because you are seeing both the end results and the pieces leading up to it, perfectly aligned from your perspective.
You have taken someone else's non-linear success and made it LINEAR.
So what's missing? What are we not doing as well?
I believe the answer to these questions is the reason most of us give up so easily and would rather start where others have started.
The hard work is in doing more with what we have, doing more with less. They have done the hard work of creating a CLEAR AND COMPELLING goal and showed us that they can accomplish it from wherever they began.
However, have you been able to do the same in your life?....
....and if not, why not?
The main reason for this, is that you are trying to run the same race as everyone else is running, at their same speed, tempo and with their same goals.
The work begins wherever you are and it doesn't matter what others have achieved and accomplished. The real work that the most successful people do, is create greater CLARITY and FOCUS towards their outcome so that they can begin to understand the reason, meaning and/or purpose of their circumstances, events in their life and therefore connect the dots and see patterns towards their dreams.
It is easy to dream someone else's dream once they have made it so clear that you now believe it and feel it. The required work is in feeling and connecting with your dream in such a powerful and compelling way that you are seeing your life from the future, seeing how to best align, integrate and bring together the elements you currently have in your life that bring your dream to reality.
The reality is we don't all have the same goals and ambitions, we don't all have the same training and mentors, we don't all have the same disciplines, habits and beliefs and therefore we won't all achieve the same results even if we had the same external circumstances.
The research has been done on several twins - same mother, father, upbringing, school, values and resources. What are the results of a longitudinal study of over 20 years - the twins end up being very different from each other and achieving very different things and becoming two very different people. Yes, there are some similarities, but overall, they are very different.
The starting line is not just a physical place where the race starts. The starting line is place you choose and commit to as your stake in the ground. Your call to action and your call to rise to leadership from victim mindset. You are not moving into action and moving closer to your dreams because you are stuck in ease and comfort - because you are stuck in comparison mode and victim mindset since it is easier to point the finger and rationalize other people's success.
Let's turn that finger inward and focus on what we have, on what we are doing, on how committed we are to our values and principles and whether or not our dreams and desires are being fanned on a daily basis.
When you commit to starting exactly where you are, you are making a decision not to fall victim to your present circumstances. You are deciding to focus on the quality of what you have over what you don't. You are choosing to focus on the quality of life that you want over the one you are currently living.
When you commit to running your own race, you empower yourself to make it work no matter what. You begin to recognize the constant across all successful people, IS THE PERSON!! - Their heartset, mindset, soulset and body, and how they were able to bring them into alignment and optimize what they have and that what they have, is unique to them. They know it better than anyone else and therefore they can utilize it better than anyone else.
They do not leave something so important as their sense of personal fulfillment, happiness and success, to other peoples circumstances and control.
Own your dreams and your personal responsibility to bring it to life, to make it more vivid and increase its clarity and drive.
If everyone was running the same race, then I would totally agree, look for the same standardizations and systems to re-create what others have done or are doing.
Unfortunately, we apply the sports metaphors using broad strokes to our lives and businesses and this creates frustration.
We are not all running the same race and when you can become aware of this, you will look for inspiration instead of replication from others.
3. YOU LEARN TO FOCUS ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS
When we learn about someone else's "overnight success" or achievements, we are not fully in the know of all the information that was present for them to reach their achievement. We are reading it or learning about it, out of context.
This isn't to say that I am demeaning or minimizing what anyone has achieved or accomplished, I am simply stating that we cannot take the limited information we have access to and apply it directly to our lives. By limited information, I also mean their emotions, drives, desires, support systems, beliefs, resources, struggles, obstacles, realizations, breakthroughs and mentors. This is all the information that we do not have and don't know the exact order in which they applied it. Their exact order or recipe is for their life, not for your masterpiece.
When we start right where we are, we recognize the immense potential we have to begin working on a "blank canvas."
This blank canvas is your ability to move forward as you please, to make your life whatever you choose because you recognize that you have a choice. This is your ability to work on the "best blending" of things to find what is most optimal for you. It's not the individual things, rather, it is how they all come together on your canvas and how you rearrange them and stay open to creating new opportunities and optimizing the potential of each sequence.
When you START right where you are, you become fully aware that your best is right within reach. That all that you need is right in front of you, right within you and usually just a short reach out of your immediate zone. Small wins compound over time to exponential and quantum. It is our emotions and mindset that must align to increase our ability to compound what we have and optimize for the best possible outcome.
What I believe that we should learn from others and gathe is their strength and courage, their decisiveness, their fears and passions, their thinking and their emotional resilience.
When your WHY and WHAT are so powerful, you will figure out the HOW. Most people seek the how because it is the most tangible and the easiest way to connect the dots for others and themselves. It is our way of proving to ourselves that we know.
Yet the path to success is full of so many unknowns and it is those that can navigate the see of unknowns best that will land on the shores of success.
It is easier to rationalize others faults and achievements and make excuses for ourselves.
Far better is it to look towards the makeup of our excuses and see what they are lacking so that we know what to search for when we learn about the lives and accomplishments of others.
What is usually lacking is greater emotional connection to our reasons and greater intensity in HOW we show up.
NO ONE RUNS THE SAME RACE and therefore the training, the skills, the strategies and structures are all different. The constant, therefore, is their connection to their goals and drives. What is a consistent theme are the struggles they overcame and the beliefs they either maintained or rejected when they were able to make sense of it.
It was their ability to endure long enough to seek the advice of others to better connect the dots as they simply stayed in the game longer than anyone else. They optimized for the long term, not the short term.
So much of what we focus on is the success of others and not realizing that we are not making a fair apple to apples comparison.
THEIR FINISH LINE IS NOT YOUR STARTING POINT!
Their goals are not your goals. Their dreams are not your dreams. Their motivations are not your motivations.
START RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE because it is the only way you will begin to create more dots and connect the dots you have already created.
START RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE because if you keep obsessing about other peoples dreams and achievements, you will miss out on fulfilling and living yours. You will live your life climbing the wrong ladder and going after the wrong goals for the wrong reasons.
START RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE because if you do, you will increase your self, become the master of your own race and you will learn to focus on what really matters.