Here’s the deal. We are not created equal. None of us. And as soon as you’re willing to accept that, you will find your own greatness. It’s that simple.
So many of us spend entirely too much time worrying about one upping another person, be it lifting heavier or running longer or faster. There’s plenty more I could add to the list, but the jist of it is that everything can feel like a competition if you let it. Don’t be that person who’s goal is to be better than someone else. Your goal should never involve another person. It’s a personal goal. Wish for and work for your own dreams. Stop saying things like, “my goal is to have abs like her” or “my dream is to run faster than him”, and start saying things like, “I want to run a 5 minute mile” or “I want to get in the best shape my body is capable of”. Changing the way you think can truly change your life. And taking the competitiveness and focusing it inward will help you, too. Make yourself your opponent and you will find you have far more people on your side supporting you than when you viewed everyone as potential competition. Just as I said that goals should be personal, you also need to realize that support from family and like-minded friends will help keep you on the path to success.
Lately I’ve seen so many groups popping up on social media sites for people to join and find strength in the company of others who share their passion. I, for one, was added to a group for people on a mission to run. As most of you know, this is kind of ironic/kind of laughable, because anyone who knows me knows that I haven’t attempted to run a mile since probably sixth grade. And I thought of removing myself from the group because I thought, “oh hell, I have nothing in common with any of these people”, but then I realized that it didn’t matter what our goals were. Everyone in that group was there to support each other. They would offer their successes and their trials in hopes that it might inspire someone else. And to this day I am still a member. And to this day I still have yet to run a mile. But I’m motivated by their posts. You say run a mile, I say squat heavier. It sounds like trying to compare apples to oranges, which I guess it is, but it’s motivation nonetheless so I’m going with it. You don’t (and shouldn’t) have to align your goals with those of another person. You shouldn’t make it your mission to best another person. When you focus on yourself and your own mission in life, you find that the competitiveness you felt towards others fades into the background.
Never let another person get in the way of your dreams, never let them dissuade you from reaching your goals. If that happens, then yes you need to remove yourself from that “group” immediately. But on the path to your own success, you will find strength in the positive company you keep. When you compete with another person, you only have to be as good or better than them. But, compete with yourself and there’s no limits on your greatness. Work at your own pace. Make your own goals. Your heavy is not my heavy. My strong is not your strong. That’s why it’s my journey and not yours.
This video is the product of the motivation provided to me by my “running group”. I know, running and squatting have nothing in common, and it may make no sense to you, but reading the successes of others has motivated me to better myself. And that’s the thing about each of us being on a different journey. It doesn’t have to make any sense to someone else as long as it is where you want to be and makes your heart happy.
The video may seem like nothing to you, but it was a goal for me. I’ve shied away from squatting heavy for various reason lately. I’ve also always been irrationally scared of putting a lot of weight on that bar, mostly from fear of failure. But, my motivation has given me renewed strength to face a challenge that I was no longer willing to let evade me. So what you see in the video is only one set of my upwards battle with the bar. After I proved to myself that it wasn’t insurmountable, I changed my training plans for the night and I added more weight and shook off the fear of failure. And guess what? I continued to climb. Oftentimes, it’s in the moments when you least expect it, in those times where forethought has escaped you, that you surprise yourself the most. It’s in these times of spontaneity that some of the most magical things happen. So how do you create these most opportune moments in life? The answer is simple. You can’t. Instead, you live. You learn to worry less about the perfection in planning and spend more time savoring the elusive perfect snapshots in time.
And I’m still riding the high of the feeling of success.