In the world of infinite hashtags, memes, and gifs of social media, there exists example after example of people defining there ‘#winning’ lives.
But…what exactly does define winning? I mean, who actually decides if you are winning or losing at your own life?
Of course reading that question, I automatically think to myself: “Who decides if I’m winning?!?! Well I do! It’s my life!!” Yet, how often this simple statement, our personal determination, gets overshadowed by the lives of others we see as we scroll through our newsfeed or browse the posts on Instagram. We find ourselves comparing our life paths to those around us, without even realizing it.
“Oh, Jim got engaged yesterday. Well…that leaves just me in the group now I guess–the eternal bachelor.”
“Did you see Bill and Sue bought a house?! They’re at LEAST 5 years younger than me.”
“Looks like Jean is off traveling the world again. Where does she find the time and money for that?!?”
“Wow…Tina and Jill’s kids are going to grow up playing together. I wonder if I’ll have kids before all of my eggs are gone…”
“Eric just got promoted…again! What am I doing with my life?!?”
“Phil’s life seems so glamorous. He’s in a new place every week!”
“Dylan has such a great relationship with his family. All those pictures together. Must be nice.”
“Ugh George and Judy are so cute they make me sick. They seem like they have the perfect relationship. They’re so lucky.”
“Wow, Chris really has his life together.”
Admit it. We all know ‘that guy.’ The one who always seems to have everything going right in his life. You know…the one that drives you all but crazy with the infinite amounts of ‘fabulous’ that seem to be oozing from his person. Life surely cannot be hard for him.
I could go on and on with scenarios from all different ‘that guy’ perspectives. In fact, I’m pretty sure that most people have thought at least one or two of these exact phrases at one point or another in their lives. Yet, by comparing your own circumstances to someone else’s, you’re ultimately giving that other person the power to dictate whether or not you are winning at your own life.
I’m guilty of it as well. You would think it would be harder to do–let other people’s actions influence how you feel about where you are going, what you are doing in your life. The reality, though, is that we get swept up in all the ways that everyone else seems to be ‘ #winning ‘ at this game, and all we can see are the areas of our own existence that are lacking.
But…there really is no right or wrong way to do this thing. There is no structure, no sure plan. For those of us who are perfectionists (like myself), this is an exceptionally hard pill to swallow. So, when things don’t go exactly how we expect, we beat ourselves up for messing everything up and swear that there we are an absolute disappointment to those we love most.
We have to stop comparing our lives to those of others. There isn’t one universal road that will lead to success and fulfillment (no matter what people tell you). Once you can come to terms with the fact that life is a crap-shoot for not just you–but everyone–it will make the pill of failure and restructuring easier to take. IT IS A PART OF LIFE. We are all human beings, yes, but we don’t all require the same things to make us happy. In fact, to even think that something like that exists is really a very silly idea (although I’ve thought it on more than one occasion).
In reality, it seems like a pretty common sense notion, but it’s easy to forget–especially when you see one of your college friends grabbing that CEO spot or buying that great big house. We compare, and it makes our own accomplishments feel small. Then again, though, why does that define #winning?
I’ve known many people just as happy to live their lives without a home. In fact, in a way, I’ve embraced the vagabond lifestyle for the last 8 years. There IS richness in that. Believe me. But it also isn’t a right way OR a wrong way. It’s…just a way.
So…I challenge you.
I challenge you to look at your own life–to find the parts that you like, dislike, or revisit long neglected desires. Bring back those old dreams that you had at the ripe, young age of 15.
Who said your dreams have to die?
We are on this planet for such a short time. We should at least dictate what it takes to define that #winning moment in our life.
For me…I suppose right now it’s finding somewhere to call my home (that is until the next time I get itchy feet). But I know that I have the freedom to make that change. I have the freedom to decide how I want to define #winning.