Don’t Compare Your Insides to Somebody Else’s Outsides

Circular Polarisation difference
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Niek Beck via Compfight

I seem to be finding most of my inspiration for blog posts in conversations with other people lately. Thank you Jennifer Boykin for this brilliant pearl of wisdom and a dozen others that  I’ll get to share with the world in a few weeks.

A while back I wrote about the comparative and competitive disadvantage. It’s one of those things you definitely don’t learn in school since our comparison starts in the form of grades, smart kids, and dumb kids at a very early age.  Well we know there are no grades in the school of life.  But the strange thing is we don’t really act like it. All we do is replace grades with other labels like degrees from prestigious universities, job titles, bank balances,  and addresses (especially if you live in NYC).

The Ego Driven Pursuit of a Life that Looks Good on Facebook

With the rise of lifestyle design bloggers, people selling everything they own and leaving the country, and people living lives that seem more exciting than our own, perhaps it’s true that Facebook is making us miserable.

  • You’re not making a six figure income from your muse
  • Publishers aren’t knocking on your door with your book deal 
  • You’re not sipping cocktails in some exotic destination in pursuit of world domination and living life on your own terms. 

Guess what. It’s ok. You don’t need any of those things. Part of me can’t help but think all we’ve really done is move from the ego driven pursuit of a life that looks good on paper to one that looks good on Facebook. It’s great to let somebody else’s story inspire you, but remember it’s up to you to decide on the signs of a meaningful life.

Comparison Keeps  Us Stuck Where We’re At

When we get caught up in comparing ourselves to the people around us we get stuck. If you keep comparing where you thought you’d be with where you are, you’ll never become the person you were meant to be. Comparison is a form of resistance and a waste of your glorious energy on your planet.  I’ve wasted plenty of my own glorious energy comparing myself to my friends, my sister, and other entrepreneurs. It hasn’t done a damn thing for me.

You Might Be Idealizing The Life That You Think You Want

A few months ago I was hanging out with my friend Colin Wright who lives a rather interesting life. Every 3 months he moves to a different country and allows the readers of his blog to vote where he should move next. One of the things that came up was just how much people idealize his life I said to him “everybody thinks they want your life” and he replied ” they don’t. They just want the good parts.”

True personality is a layer within an individual, the qualities the words and the attitude reflects the kind of person you are, which nears a stamp about your traits on the others. It an important link to understanding what you are inside, as gets reflected on the people and business you carry on.

One of my friends will comment on my pictures on Facebook or status updates from time to time when I’m out at the beach or in the mountains snowboarding and say “I wish I had your life.” But the funny thing is he’s only seeing one side of it. He’s completely forgetting about the three years of work that have gone into what I’ve done, the sacrifice in quality of life I’ve made to have my freedom, and uncertainty that comes with taking the scenic route through life.  He only wants part of my life, not the whole thing.

When I sold everything I owned last year for my Costa Rican surf sabbatical, I thought life was going to be nothing but riding waves and sipping cocktails on the beach all day. But I got a harsh glimpse of reality during my first two weeks as a digital nomad. It wasn’t perfect and I realized that living the dream is not for everybody, possibly even me.

My friend Bud wrote a very thought provoking post awhile back about why you don’t need to quit your job to change the world and I have to admit I’ve played my part in perpetuating the idea that you do. The truth is I’m not opposed to jobs, just ones that you hate. I had everything I wanted, a job that I loved, the ability to surf everyday and I already was living in paradise. (at least I think it’s paradise despite the traffic and overpriced housing). The surf sabbatical made me realize I might just be happier traveling for 6 weeks at a time rather than 6 months at a time.

That of course doesn’t mean you should stop the pursuit of your crazy wild eyed dreams.  If anything it relieves the pressure to follow the herd.

Don’t get too caught up in the success of other people because it might have you chasing dreams that weren’t even yours to begin with.