Visions of Success
If I were to ask you to define success, I am almost certain that your definition would be different from mine - and they would both be different from my parents, your parents, siblings, etc. So, why is it that we use acts of comparison to decide if we are successful or not?
I think it’s easy to have a vision of success based on one person you look up to - and that’s a good thing. But, on the other hand, it’s not a good thing to compare yourself to that person and believe that you’ve fallen short if you don’t check every single box that person did. I find in times I don’t have a clear vision of what I want for myself, I begin to look to others’ success to decide what I want for myself. This can be disguised as looking for inspiration, but it can be difficult to move beyond comparison first.
[Comparison]: to draw an analogy between one thing and another for the purposes of explanation or clarification (via Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)
Above is the definition of comparison. The two words that stick out to me the most are explanation and clarification. When we begin to compare ourselves to others, we are essentially looking to clarify our worth against someone else’s definition and vision of success. In a world where everyone is blazing a different trail toward their own vision of success, this kind of comparison just isn't fair to ourselves.
The bottom line: we all have different goals, dreams and visions for our future selves. As we all coexist in a world of similarities and differences, it is important to understand that we are all on our own paths - however straight, jagged or crooked they may be. In this way, we are able to shape the world to embrace success in whatever form it may be and create a place where each individual’s vision of success makes us each better in our own ways.
All good stories come from our unique experiences. If we all had the same stories to tell, can you imagine how boring this world would be?
Just as a hot air balloon takes its own path and shows its distinct beauty in a sea of others, we as humans have the opportunity to do just the same.