The words of Sven Goran Eriksson offer great insight pertaining to personal desire: “To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are.” Indeed, comparing ourselves to others is rarely a positive or productive experience; most human beings have a tendency to idealize other people while undercutting themselves. Party due to this negative bias, many individuals end up concluding that they are years behind where they “should be” in life.
What’s more, the more ambitious someone is, the longer it will likely take them to achieve their goals; however, it should be expected that loftier goals will be more difficult to achieve quickly—and this should not be seen as a negative outcome or character trait. Additionally, human beings should not feel inadequate or guilty for desiring a life that doesn’t fit in with societal norms; individuals who act to change societal norms for the better are in fact needed more than people who fit nicely into the status quo (and have little desire to change it).
It seems that the more self-aware a person becomes, the more these types of progressive philosophies seem ideal. Individuals who are self-aware tend to care about making the “right” decision as frequently as possible, and they also tend to value free time and enjoyable experiences over long hours and high incomes. Even though this may not always be highly beneficial pertaining to career development, the enhanced happiness and peacefulness that comes from living free is normally well worth the trade-off.
Regardless of how far behind or ahead in life you think you are, it’s imperative to acknowledge and celebrate what makes you proud about your personality, and what makes you proud about your life. For instance, if you’re an introvert, be proud when you’re able to form deep friendships despite your solitary instincts, and if you’re an extrovert, be proud when you’re able to restrain yourself out of respect for someone else. It’s vital not to allow social anxiety to prevent you from living a positive and productive life, and to avoid comparing your life to someone else’s; as discussed, comparisons normally aren’t productive.
If a person is able to center themselves and prevent themselves from striving to live up to societal ideals which they do not fit into, then it will begin to become clear that they are finally on their own unique, personal path—which is both an enjoyable and a peaceful realization to make. Once you are on your own path, you will never be behind or ahead, but always exactly on time and on pace. Life is personal, complex, and nuanced, and even if you do feel like you’re years behind at times, it’s crucial to realize that not all thoughts are truths. Keep learning about yourself and about life—and keep consciously sculpting yourself and your life.
*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here.