I’ve been in a particularly reflective mood and went back to a journal of mine from over 2 years ago. 45-50 pages in, I found this entry and wanted to share it with you in hopes that it will give you the courage to get free of the mediocrity around you.
Oh…and I’ll answer the question before you ask it. When I journal, I’m not the least bit concern with grammar, sentence structure, or the fact that I frequently change from 1st to 2nd and 3rd person for no particular reason. I just write what comes out. So if you can hang with me, I think you’ll find a gift in there for you. Please share your thoughts with me when you’re done.
——start of journal entry————–
Competitive spirit in life is very difficult to avoid. Being competitive is the primary way I communicated with the world for most of my life but, I continue to read and better understand that we are to scrape off the competitive mindset because there is more than enough for everyone. I love that concept!
The issue I am battling today is that it is difficult to shed the competitive mindset when you are surrounded by people that live every moment in comparative competition. To some people, the goal isn’t to become better as compared to who we currently are, but instead, their complete focus is being better than others in one way or another.
If two people are standing side-by-side, literally or figuratively, and they have a goal that is just beyond their reach, a decision has to be made. They can elect to reach the goal and both be better by the stronger person lifting the other to reach to goal, or they can spend their time pulling each other down so that they look better by comparison. Better that no one reach the goal than to have someone else reach it first.
People who do not spend time looking inside of themselves gauge their own growth by how they compare to the people around them. If they can discourage someone close to them, keep them from moving on and growing, then they don’t look as bad by comparison.
Something these people never seem to get is that by snuffing the light of those around them they doom themselves to darkness as well. "It is one of the great compensations of life that we cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own." -Ben Sweetland (I think).
There is no better way in this world to move forward and grow personally than to help others move ahead of or catch up with you. By knowing ourselves well enough to purposely contribute to others, we challenge our comfort zones and create a new space where we have permission to become more.
But it’s more comfortable to stay where we are, keep our heads down and not make waves. It is way easier to get stale along with our cronies than it is to live as an example of growth.
Understand that most, this is hard to hear, but most people in our lives do not want us to be successful in our personal growth. Why? Not because they consciously wish us ill or they purposefully want to see us fail. It is because if we grow and we succeed, they are suddenly less by comparison.
When comparison kicks in, the cycle begins again and people have to decide if they will take the easy route and try to pull us or keep us down, or if they will engage their own potential and see what life has for them.
Don’t let these people kill your efforts or derail the work you are putting into yourself. I am struggling with an instance of this today, working to distance myself from those that think this way and am wondering if it is time to pull away completely and begin my career of helping others pursue their own potential. This is, and always will be, more about being free to be our best than it is about a particular job or group of people. None of us are more useful if we are restricting our capabilities.
Nelson Mandela said, "There is no passion to be found by playing small – in settling for a life less than you are capable of living."
So where do I stand? Do I catch myself saying things like, "At least I’m not as bad as that guy," or secretly hoping that someone I care about comes up a little short of the goal they are after?
Or am I willing to compare where I am now to where I used to be? Is the difference a positive one that I intentionally created by pursuing my potential?
——–end of journal entry—————
Take heed of those that do not live intentionally because they are prone to pulling down those around them. Surround yourself with people who are genuinely interested in their own personal growth, because those people will cheer you to your own.
Be your best, PJ
PJ McClure helps aspiring entrepreneurs to multi-million dollar business owners destroy roadblocks and seize opportunities to achieve their ideal vision of success. He is an award-winning speaker and the best-selling author of Flip the SWITCH: How to Turn On and Turn Up Your Mindsetand Unlock Your Life: How to go beyond Time-Management to the Life of Your Dreams. You can download a copy of Flip the SWITCH for Free by clicking here.