Deadly Comparisons

Think about the metric by which your life will be judged, and make a resolution to live every day so that in the end, your life will be judged a success. -Clayton Christensen in "How Will You Measure Your Life?"

All of us can envision ourselves 5, 10, 20 years down the road, and see the lives that we hope to have. I see mine nearly everyday. But seldom do we consider the work it will take to reach this cloudy imagery of ourselves, or the road blocks we will encounter before arriving at our hopeful destinations. To the contrary, very frequently do we see someone who has the “perfect” life, who has everything we (think we) want, and seemingly who had to put in much less work to get there. 

My advice in this situation is as follows:

  • Don’t Envy - Who knows what this person actually had to go through to get to where they are in life? Everything that glitters isn’t always gold. Being upset, or envying someone else won’t help accomplish your idling goals. Use their prosperity instead as your own motivation.
  • Stay the Course - Don’t allow someone else’s success to deter you from your own dreams. Focus on exactly what it is that YOU want to accomplish. Do you even really know what you want to accomplish? Think about it. 
  • Ask for Advice - Ask this person how they got to where they are. Apply pieces of their story to your own life. If they are not accessible, do your research on them. The Internet is powerful. 

I received some good advice from Warren Ballentine at a conference a couple of years back. He advised to always maintain these 4 people in your life:

  1. A seasoned veteran (to show you the forthcoming potholes in the road)
  2. An equally achieving parallel (someone you can relate to)
  3. A struggling parallel (to  help you appreciate what you do have)
  4. Someone younger (pay it forward; teach them what you’ve learned)

Do you have these 4 people in your life? Do you know exactly what it is that you want to accomplish? Don’t be so quick to answer. Give it some thought. 

Feel free to dialogue in the comment section, or on Twitter