It is easy to think that the game of life is played against other people.
In fact, we are raised to think that the real competition is outside of us, others who could take our jobs, our opportunities, our money, our relationships, our friends.
As though there are only so many spots in the world, and the most worthy can fill them.
Of course, no such spots ever existed. Because we are tasked with creating them uniquely and distinctly for ourselves.
You are not in competition with those around you.
You are in competition with your ego.
You are in competition with your laziness.
You are in competition with your vices.
You are in competition with your fear.
In the end, it is you vs. you.
For the rest of your life.
It takes a lot of unlearning to come to this, but you are not only as beautiful as you are better looking than someone else.
You are not only as wealthy as you are richer than someone else.
You are not only as loved as you have been able to convince others to love you.
You are not only as good enough as you are better than someone else.
This way of measuring ourselves has a toxic impact on our lives. It makes us externalize our effort, it stifles and suffocates our potential. It makes us believe that there is only so much love, so much success, so much goodness in the world and we must fight for it by virtue of who is deemed better in any quantifiable way.
One day, we must wake up and recognize that we create that success and goodness and love. It is ours for the taking, if so we are willing to first make it.
And that self-efficacy is only really built when we stop looking to other people as our enemies, and start looking to our shadows.
The only true measure of how far you have come in life is who you were now versus who you were then.
The only true measure of how far you can go in life is who you are now versus who you could be later.
So long as you are still trying to fight your way to the top and other people are your competition, you will never really win. There will always be someone more attractive and wealthy and loved than you are, so it’s a losing game. It’s not an accurate measurement.
Your enemy is the person closest to you. It is the person you grapple with day-in and day-out. It is the person you look in the eyes every single morning when you glance in the mirror. It is the least likely suspect, and the most surprising.
But if you are willing to stop and look long enough, if you are willing to stop competing with others and start mastering yourself rather than other people’s perceptions of you, you will find that your biggest competition can transform into your greatest inspiration.
You just have to choose for it to be so.