Forging Your Own Path Means Not Comparing Yourself To Others
How often do you compare yourself to your friends or family members in regards to where you’re at in life?
Maybe you’re single and everyone is married, you have no children but your friends have three, or you’re still at a job that doesn’t pay you enough to make ends meet while your friends are already saving for retirement.
It can be hard not to compare where you’re at in life to where your friends are and somehow feel you are doing something wrong when you don’t meet the bar, especially when you always imagined to be further along by this age.
But what is “further along,” and why do you feel you are not meeting certain expectations?
Probably because society has created this imaginary timeline we all feel we must follow, and if we don’t meet the milestones others have set for us then we’ve somehow failed.
Well, this is not reality nor is it the way life works, because at the end of the day the only person who can dictate a timeline is you, and the only way to fail is if you never tried in the first place.
What makes one person seem further in life than another is purely subjective, and there are a million factors that dictate where you are in life versus someone else.
You’re forgetting that your friend who is bringing in six figures has a dad who got them a job at the company, or maybe an internship lead to a meeting which resulted in a permanent position. Or maybe they just got lucky.
Regardless of what the reason is, everyone’s life plays out differently, and we can’t beat ourselves up for not hitting certain milestones by a certain age.
Most of my friends are married but I’m still single at 31. Do I feel like I’m not as far along in life as them? Not really, because I have never put much weight on getting married.
I have always put more time into getting the career I want over getting the relationship I want. At the same time are some of my friends making more money than me? Yes, and some of that has to do with choosing a different career path.
It’s not that I haven’t amounted to anything, it’s that I’ve chosen a different life. We don’t expire or peak in life, and if we don’t hit every point on an imaginary timeline it doesn’t mean we aren’t succeeding.
Timelines are what we make them, it’s up to us to decide what we want for ourselves and learn how to adapt when it doesn’t work out, because nine times out of ten it won’t work out exactly as you imagined.
Life can’t be planned, and if you don’t know how to re-route then you’ll never be able to forge the path you’ve always wanted.