It has always been an ambition of mine since my freshman year of high school to get into the gym and consistently work out. My weight is something I was always insanely insecure about, and I wanted to lift in order to build muscle mass to instill some confidence in me.
However, I was unfortunately inhibited in my early stages of high school because in the gym I would always focus on the other guys around me. I would always fear their judgment and take note of how advanced they were. I stopped going for a while until the end of high school and the beginning of college and pushed myself to go despite my feelings of discomfort. I soon realized once I began going more frequently that it wasn't the other people in the gym ostracizing me.
There was only one person doing that. And that person was me.
I suddenly came to this realization that no one is worried about what I am doing. Everyone is focused on themselves and doing their own thing. But most importantly, I realized that we are all on our own journey. We are all on different paths of life that maintain a different pace for each person. I cannot compare myself to the other guys in the gym because I'm not where they are yet. I'm not meant to be where they are yet. My design for life is MY design. And I need to be patient with the rate at which my life is progressing.
This, of course, is merely an example. I want to generalize this concept more and broaden it to a more open philosophical discussion. We need to stop comparing ourselves to other people altogether because we are each different individuals with different lives and different goals and different end destinations. It doesn't matter if you achieve major success at the age of 18 or if you achieve major success at the age of 60. You are not behind schedule, nor are you ahead.
You are fine right where you are.
I think this is especially salient to talk about in terms of college, specifically because I'm in college myself and a lot of my readers are college students as well. We have this propensity to sprint in a marathon with everyone around us. We are constantly in competition with one another trying to be the best and succeed before the person next to us can.
We need to stop this.
Stop acting as if life is a race and you have to be the first to finish. I understand we live in one hell of a competitive world, and yes, you will most certainly have to fight for your success. You most certainly will have to go out there in the real world someday and compete with other people for jobs or some means of employment. But, there's sort of a dichotomy in what I am talking about. Competing for jobs is internalized perseverance and ambition. That is incumbent. That is tacit and individual and when that time comes it will be present and in the moment. My point is that we need to stop consciously viewing our lives as this perpetual disposition to compete. Instead of trying to achieve success as fast as you possibly can or wanting to triumph before everyone else and distancing your mind into a fabricated future, take a breath. Take in where you are right now and live in the now. Your success will come when it's your time to succeed.
Chrissy Metz, an American actress and singer, had some beautiful words to share about life endeavors.
And I will leave you with her words:
"You're not behind in life. There's no schedule or timetable that we must all follow. It's all made up. Wherever you are right now is exactly where you need to be. Seven billion people can't do everything in exactly the same scheduled order. We are all different with a variety of needs and goals. Some get married early, some get married late, while others don't get married at all. What is early? What is late? Compared with whom? Compared with what? Some want children, others don't. Some want a career, others enjoy taking care of a house and children. Your life is not on anyone else's schedule. Don't beat yourself up for where you are right now. It's YOUR timeline, not anyone else's, and nothing is off schedule."