There’s that dude in our lives. You have to call him a friend because somehow or another he’s weaseled himself into your social circle and has been a constant there since maybe high school, but whenever you’re around him, you just feel like kicking something.
It’s weird the way he works, his beady eyes watching your movements and you feel, for some reason or another, that whatever move you make, maybe it’s coughing into your hand or sliding the hood off your head, it’s under scrutiny, and you’re guarded because you know whatever you say he’ll have a comeback meant to undermine you and your efforts.
He’s lost at everything else in life so his only course of action is to be better than those around him, some way, any way.
This dude is what I like to refer to as the one-upper. His goal in life is to be better than you. Call it insecurity or something else but the dude won’t stop judging you and scrutinizing you and every word you say until he’s found some way to be better than you at something.
Humility is something that doesn’t exist for him, or if it is, it’s a way to be better than you or more humble than you.
Simply put, everything is a competition for him.
You try to be friendly with him, you actually try really hard to be, but you can’t shake the feeling that he’s testing you, ready to jump if you slip up by saying the wrong word or doing the wrong thing.
To be honest, it’s got to be exhausting to always be on edge, always competing like he does and you can’t help but wonder why he does it and why he can’t just give it up.
Not just for him either, it’s gotten to the point where it’s literally exhausting for you to be around him.
Like anyone else though, there’s a lesson to be learned from his actions.
We go through childhood and adolescence trying to fit in, trying to get good grades, hoping to get picked and then trying to be first string on the football team, trying to make friends and generally just trying really hard.
This fosters natural competition and it’s ingrained it into our being.
Somewhere around 26-30 we realize though, that’s it’s just too exhausting to keep playing that way. We come to terms with our strengths and with our weaknesses and we start to accept that we can’t win at everything.
That’s what should happen at least.
Competition is what drives the species and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t natural to try to be the best at something.
The problem lies in trying to be the best at everything. It’s simply not possible. For someone to live under the notion that they’re nothing if they don’t win at everything, there’s inevitably going to be a heart attack in the late 30s or early 40s from the amount of stress they put on themselves.
The point I’m trying to make though, is that humility is a good thing. It lets people know that you’ve failed at something in life or that you don’t take things too seriously and those are the marks of a real actual down-to-earth person that people want to know.
If you haven’t given up on something after trying your best, or if something’s just simply not within your capabilities you’re lying.
It’s ok to not be the best at everything you do and it’s ok to sacrifice an opportunity for the sake of your well-being.
Not everyone can be a high powered lawyer with 70 hour work weeks and a doctor with a multimillion dollar house.
Of course it’s possible if you work your ass off but it’s not realistic if you want to maintain a normal healthy balance in life.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t work for your dreams, I’m just saying it’s not realistic to be the best at everything you try.
I gave up a long time ago trying to learn how to play the guitar but that’s not saying I didn’t try. My heart just wasn’t in it. That’s ok.
Simply put, if you work hard at what you love to do you will be successful but at some point it’s important to realize that it’s impossible to be successful at everything, and that’s when you have to learn humility.