All we ever see when we witness a person at the height of their success is the result. We don’t see the dull, repetitious days of practice, trial, and error that had gone into that success. Like an iceberg, success is merely the tiny tip of an enormous body of work that came together at the right place and time.
Success is merely historical.
To successful people, they don’t see their success the way that you see it. To them, they are mountain climbers and success is a quick stop of a climb to the top of the mountain. A quick time to perhaps sneak a view before they begin climbing again. The moment they stare too long at their success is the moment they start to grow tired of their climb or worse, begin to slide down when they watch other climbers climbing higher.
Excuses, excuses, excuses!
So many people demean their growth in light of the success of others. Instead of taking the tiny steps necessary to trend in that direction, instead, they fail right off the starting blocks. Small steps often lead to exponential growth but from that growth sometimes comes discomfort and let’s face it; it’s natural to protect ourselves from being uncomfortable! So we use excuses like: “Oh, I could never play guitar like that!” or “There is no way I would ever step on stage and talk about this like you did!” or “You can run like that because you are fit, I am not!”. These excuses help guard our weak self-confidence and allow us to escape the unpleasantness of failure.
Our happiness does not come from the result of our successes. Success is merely a snapshot of a life well-lived. Happiness comes from the alignment of what we see ourselves doing in our head to what we are actually doing. When that alignment is true, it doesn’t matter what the result of what we are doing is, our happiness is tied to the success that we have achieved our alignment.
Self-comparison will always lead to unhappiness.
When we compare what we want to do in our head to the success of what others are doing, we push away any chance at being happy with our progress. Often when we achieve small victories in our growth, we get sidetracked by this comparison to others further on in the race, and it leads to us quitting before the miracle of seeing our dream through.