Everyone is seeking something whether it is better health and fitness, a more loving relationship, financial independence, a meaningful career, to name a few. It is important to have goals because, without them, you will stagnate. The problem arises when we compare ourselves to others.
You see, we tend to measure ourselves by those around us who are farther ahead than we are. It is good to have a specific milestone to work towards but it should not be someone else’s milestone. There will always be people who seem to be far ahead of us in terms of achievement but the big mistake is comparing the progress in our goals to others for several reasons.
The first reason is that everybody’s journey is unique and you have no idea what someone else’s talents, skills, abilities, experience, struggles and challenges are and have been. This is one reason why you cannot compare your progress to anyone else’s.
The second reason is that many people achieve great things for the wrong reasons. There is a saying that goes, climb the ladder to success but make sure you are climbing the right ladder. Often the goals that people strive for is because they are running away from something else, whether it is a failing relationship, unresolved trauma or a painful experience from the past. They may not even want the goal they have achieved but just need to keep themselves busy with something for the sake of trying to escape something else.
The third reason is it is not the destination that matters but the journey you take to get there. It is more important the skills and knowledge you gain, on your path to your higher goals, than the goal itself. Once you reach your goal, you’re not going to remain static. You are going to reassess your situation and take everything that you have learned in your journey and set your next goal and start working towards it. Goal setting and the path to achieving them is never static but a dynamic process and what you learn along the way is more valuable than what you achieve.
Therefore, yes go ahead and set goals and work towards your highest ambitions but do not define your success by those around you because you do not know what someone else’s journey has entailed, which could have been a lot of pain and suffering, you have no idea what is motivating other people to achieve their goals and the knowledge, skills and experience you gain along the path to your goals is more important than the goal itself.
Success is individual and the only thing you should be comparing your progress to is where you were at the day before. Therefore, set goals and ambitions and do not dwell on the final destination but enjoy the journey!
Dr. Nauman Naeem