“Life is not a competition. Life is about helping and inspiring others, so we can each reach our potential.”
Kim Chase got these words right to the T. It’s no secret that people are working longer and harder now than a century back. As an entrepreneur, you adopt a habit called ‘hustling’ – which means to work incessantly, frantically and tirelessly. Arguably this is kind of a work ethic will get you quick and guaranteed results and might partially quench your thirst for success.
You’re squaring up against your competition, trying to release a better product. You’re forging a bigger network than your fellow salesperson. You’re even buying flashier cars than your neighbor! Life isn’t a race. If you speed through life without blinking, you could miss out on tiny nuances that could make you happy or improve you as a human being.
The Comparison Conundrum
Although the human mind is naturally programmed to compare – whatever be the issue, situation or person, perpetual comparison is toxic. It leads to a bottomless downward attitude spiral out of which it’s laborious to climb back. So what if your friend has found her dream job? So what if your younger brother got married before you? So what if your nearest competitor landed that client you’ve been working so hard to bag?
The beauty of the human race (pun unintended) is each person’s uniqueness. We all define success differently – your bulls’ eye in 2019 maybe to get fit, while your dad’s target may be to clear off all his debts. Does this mean his goal is bigger/better/nobler than yours? No!
The Timeline Fallacy
Time is a complex concept to comprehend. Society has confounded our lifestyles by setting timelines for ticking off certain checkboxes of life – enroll in school at 3, complete primary education by 17, graduate from university by 21, get married by 30, start a business by 40 and retire at 60. This, is an incredulous myth. Time doesn’t work the same for everyone, does it? If it did, Mark Zuckerberg and Sam Walton would have similar success stories. But Zuckerberg was 19 when he created Facebook and Walton was 44 when he inaugurated the first Walmart store.
At one point, you may feel as an entrepreneur that you’re dwindling because of a business setback, but at a different point, you will feel you’re ahead by miles. Perspective and circumstance – these are what shape your spirit of life.
The Permanence of Change
We’ve all heard of the adage about the grass being greener on the other side. Have we ever thought about how green the grass is on our side? For example, you open a franchise of your reputed brand in city A, considering the high demand for your product. This franchise does remarkably well. Suddenly a neighbouring city B shows some demand and you open another franchise there and focus all your resources there. If somehow franchise B doesn’t fetch good results and you find that A is the actual rainmaker, how miserable would you feel?
Over time, your wants will change and correspondingly, so will your timelines. It’s mandatory to acclimatize to these uncertainties and act appropriately. While chasing success, you should also recognize and appreciate your past successes. This will give you heaps of heartiness.
You are heavily blindfolded if you think life is a race. Here are a few action points:
- Keep reminding yourself that life is actually a journey, not a race. The real race is against yourself, not against others.
- Rejoice your victories, learn from your failures, plan for the future, but live in the ‘now’.
- Understand that there is time for all what you want to do in life. But keeping those wants reasonable is what sets you apart.