In today’s world of social media it can seem like everyone else is living it up except you. Their fabulous lives are right there on display, in your face and impossible to ignore. Their highlight reel is a constant reminder that your life is just a pale imitation of the real thing. If you’re not careful you can fall into the comparison trap and get stuck in a pit of jealousy and envy.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt
Instead of feeling excited about making positive changes in your life, you’re reminded of all the reasons why you can’t:
- You don’t have the money.
- You don’t have the time.
- You’re not smart enough.
- It’s too late for you.
The result is a deep sense of dissatisfaction and longing. Are you doomed to live vicariously through someone else, always stuck on the outside looking in?
“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” Jim Rohn
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Whatever is going on in your life you can decide right now to do something about it. It starts with a change in your mindset. You have to believe that your circumstances are not fixed, that you can always learn and improve. You have to realise that ultimately you are responsible for what happens to you. You have to reclaim the power over your future.
“Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated.” Confucius
And it doesn’t have to be complicated. Because believe it or not, you can literally transform your life by adopting two incredibly simple principles.
1. Do what you can
You compare yourself to someone who appears to be doing the very thing that you want to do and they’re great at it. ‘I’ll never be good enough.’ you think, ‘Why bother trying.’ You convince yourself that you need to be the finished article before you start.
The truth is perfection doesn’t exist. What does is progress, as you learn, grow and evolve. The gap between who you are now and what you want exists, it’s true, but it’s only an indication that you have more to learn.
Looking at the achievements of others is great if it inspires and encourages you but not if it’s an excuse not to try. So what can you do right now to take a step forward? Is it studying harder, practising more or perhaps taking action more consistently? As ordinary as you may think you are right now there is something you know how to do. If you focus on that you will be moved to take action.
When you do what you can an amazing thing happens. Your skills start to improve and the realm of what you can do starts to expand.
2. Do the best you can
In the beginning, your best may seem mediocre, especially if it’s a new skill you’re trying to acquire. But by challenging yourself to always do your best you are creating a foundation for excellence, one that is ultimately liberating.
Because when you do your best you won’t waste time beating yourself up if you don’t always succeed. You are not consumed by regret or guilt because you know you couldn’t do any better.
And a curious thing happens as you continue to do the best you can. With each attempt you learn and hopefully improve. Your best starts to get better.
Two simple principles that if used consistently will totally transform your life. Follow them and over time you’ll realise that who you are today is better than who you were yesterday. The gap between who you are and who you want to be is a little smaller. The life of your dreams is a little closer than it was before.
So the next time you feel that twinge of envy remember, your life doesn’t have to be the way it is, if you’re prepared to take responsibility and start working on it right now.
Do what you can.
Do the best you can.
And watch how your life improves.
Now over to you.
Do you constantly find yourself distracted by what everyone else is doing?
Are you consumed by jealousy and envy but neglect your own life?
Can these two principles help you to make some changes today?
Let me know in the comments.