I am realizing more and more that the outside world might not be as important as we make it out to be.
The modern world is so big and scary, always moving and changing at such a rapid pace, and it sometimes feels like we are being tossed around by the waves of this vast ocean of events, people, and things.
It seems like we are always trying to keep up, eh? Always trying to stay afloat in the whirling sea of human life. And hey, maybe this isn’t such a bad thing. It’s good to try and find our place in the world, to establish an identity that can swim with the waves of society. But what I have been noticing over the past few years is that we tend to get so caught up in the bullsh*t that we feel completely lost, and then it becomes almost impossible to form a worldly identity that connects with how we truly feel inside.
In other words, we have this weird desire to compare ourselves with other people, and we do this so much that we forget who we are.
Who cares if someone has more money than us, or a better job than us, or is better looking than us? All of these comparisons that we make are completely useless because of one simple fact: That person is not us.
We are all on our own journey.
It is that simple. It doesn’t matter whether someone has had it easier than us, or has had certain advantages that we didn’t have. We are on our own path, have our own struggles, cry our own tears. The fruits of our labors are that much more beautiful when we understand this; our glories and triumphs are all the more meaningful when we know that they are unique to our personal experience.
When someone goes for their win, in spite of their own challenges, then we can all relate. It resonates with us because we all have felt this way.
Conor McGregor, a global combat sports icon and the first ever UFC two weight world champion, once said something really great in an obscure interview that came out before he was ever famous.
He was asked about his upcoming oppnonent in his UFC debut, and his response went as follows.. “I am fighting myself.. Because you are always fighting yourself. There is no opponent. It’s you vs you.. That’s it. I am fighting myself in there… and I am going to beat myself. Not even just in martial arts. In life it is always you vs you.”
He said this all with a stoic gaze.. Calm and confident. He knocked out his opponent in just over a minute and went onto become of the greatest combat sports athletes ever.
Comparing ourselves with others is stupid.
We should compare ourselves with how we were 6 months ago, or 2 weeks ago, or yesterday, or whatever. We are always competing with ourselves, and if we want to meet our potential then we should learn to beat ourselves; to always grow and improve, regardless of what we are facing in our lives.
It doesn’t matter what someone else has or hasn’t done. There is always going to be someone that is better at something, so f*ck it. Let’s just be the best that we can hope to be, and forget all of the other crap. It honestly doesn’t matter.
I’ve learned this lesson through my five year struggle with a severe chronic illness. If I compared myself to others all the time, then it would kill me. I would feel bad about myself all of the time (which I did for awhile) because I am at such a profound disadvantage that it makes no sense to compare my situation with others. They are not me.
I am on my own special journey, and realizing this has made me much more capable of persevering through my condition. It doesn’t matter whether other people have suffered like I have suffered or whether I am at a disadvantage or not, because at the end of the day I am fighting for the sake of my own soul. This is the most clearly I could look at my situation, and it has been the most effective outlook for me in my struggles.
When we are constantly comparing ourselves to other people in an attempt to establish ourselves in the world, then even if we win we lose. Even if we get everything that we want, we are going to feel bad about ourselves because the mindset was all wrong. Don’t achieve things to beat other people. Let’s do things that improve us as people so that we are better than what we were in the past. Let’s defeat our own insecurities, doubts, and fears, rather than trying to defeat something in the outside world.
In my experience, when we approach things in this way then we are more likely to meet our potential in the outside world. But this is secondary to our own inner satisfaction and sense of fulfillment. It starts with us, and It will end with us.
The best thing we can do for the world is to be happy and effective people. So, when a challenge arises in our lives, always remember.. It is you vs you.