Sunday, June 13, 2010
Me > You
I grew up having to be very competitive. Even after being the top of my class, I would wonder if I would still be the best if all those who came top of the class in my grade across the country were all put together to write a test with me? To some extent that approach worked but not so much as I got older.
Years went by and I realized that comparing me to others was taking the better part of me. I was rarely satisfied with my accomplishments. Anything but the best was not acceptable. I was almost on the extreme of being a perfectionist. This played into other areas of my life but the one most affected was school because I always knew I was all to blame. Except for the physics class where I clearly had the worse physics teacher ever (I will forgive him).
As life went on, I realized that I cannot be the jack of all trades. When you become as old as I am, (wide smile) you realize that there are so many areas in life you want to succeed in. You want to be the best in your relationship with God, school, relationships, wear the best clothing’s, live in the best house, the finest or hottest bf, gf, wife or hubby, drive the best car, eat the best food, have the best kids, look the best (physically fit) and I can go on and on about all the wants that are out there.
Now there is nothing wrong in aspiring for the best things in life. God wants us to have the best anyway. I believe the only problem is when our motive for getting those things is to be better than another person in one area or so. Also, God has created us all uniquely with our various level of grace and what is best for the other person might not really be best for us. When we start comparing ourselves to others, we tend to become very ungrateful. Creflo Dollar once said that comparing yourself to others is belittling what God had to do to get you to where you are in life.
That is sooooooo true because, when I was doing my undergrad I would clearly have my own expectations for a particular class I was taking. This expected result would be determined when I see the content of my class work and how easy it is for me. Now let’s say I pray to God that I should not finish the class with anything less than an 80%. By this time I would have received my test and can do a rough estimate of what I need to get on my exams to get atleast 80%. Now the exams comes around and God in his infinite mercies helps me to achieve let’s say an 82% in the class. I would be so happy and thankful to God about that grade until I realize that someone else got 83% or above!
Now the complains starts! God Why? Why was I not highest? Do they have two heads? Now I have switch from being content to not content, from thankfulness to complaining. If you were a father or mother to a child like me what would you do? I saw this attitude creeping into the other areas of my life and I was beginning to become somewhat easily depressed and frustrated! I was becoming easily stressed out! And if there is one thing I dislike so much it is any form or size of STRESS. So now I had to do something about it.
I had to personally define success to myself and I also had to make to conscious effort to ensure that everything I did was for my personal happiness and not to look better than any other person or to be like anyone. In doing this I realized that I was more thankful and content with everything God has blessed me with. It did not matter what the other person had, I was content with what I had and happy for me. If they are blessed with something I wanted or want, their getting it is an assurance to me that mine will come in due time. So I rejoice with them.
I discussed my new way of looking at life to someone and they said I would become complacent and less ambitious! Now that is a far cry from who I am. I still have the most awesome dreams of how I would love my life to be, my home, my kids, my career and so on! But the only difference now is
• All these things would be achieved at God’s timing and while I’m waiting for them to come through, I am as happy as can be ( and I meant it)
• It does not really matter what anyone has or has achieved, I know I have a unique destiny
• I don’t put myself under any unnecessary pressure to prove anything to anyone- I’m just happy being “Ms Nightingale”.
• I am a more thankful to God for everything He does for me
The truth is my life really changed when my perspective of life in this aspect changed. The simple thing that happened was that I embraced everything that makes me “Ms Nightingale”. I realized that on earth I walk a unique part where no one else has walked or would walk. And things will happen for me in its own unique timing and manner.