As a young man with a lot of ego and a highly competitive nature, I find it easy to want to one up the next guy. I find myself constantly comparing my progress with that of the next guy. I have to stop myself from feeling inadequate because someone else seems to always have a new highlight. There is always that one guy that looks like he has figured life out. He has bae, bought house, bought car, BMW for that matter. His career is looking all kinds of on track.
When I grow up, can I just be like him?
The thoughts usually go like this;
My mates have bought BMW & Benz, what are you doing with your life?
My mates that are earning six figures, is it not the same job we are doing?
Another weekend, let me check the gram for who has engaged this time.
This guy bought a million dollar house, we are the same age.
Most people talk about how it isn't good to compare yourself to other people. They will tell you how you should focus on you. It is irrelevant what others are doing. Stay in your lane.
I am not most people. Please compare yourself!
Let me explain.
From my understanding, I know that we all have different paths to tread, different purposes to fulfill and different visions to bring to life. There is no doubt that we are all on different timelines. For some, we spring early and figure it out early in life. For most, we figure it out in our 30s and the last set are late bloomers where we figure things out after several attempts at it. We are all different.
However, I wish to propose to you that you are in fact meant to ACTUALLY compare yourself.
What I am saying is this;
So you're a young adult like myself, you have goals, you have ambition, you have the drive to succeed. You know you will make it, you know nothing can stop you. You know you are the best thing since sliced bread. If not now, you soon will be. You just know it!
Like you, I too want to succeed.
"But Tolu, what does this have to do with staying in your lane?"
Chill, let me land.
I am actually a very strong advocate for staying in your lane. I believe you need to wake each day better than you were yesterday. Work on self improvement. Read and grow as much as you can. Learn a new skill, or at least refine the ones you have.
Grow, grow, grow!
Be proud of the adult you are becoming. Admire your progress. Love yourself. Become the best version of you. Enjoy your journey. Be happy. Become so awesome you look forward to meeting your future self.
Life is one really big highway; tons of lanes, once you get on it you can't rewind, can't turn back, forward only!
Sure, your destination is different from everyone else's. Sure, you intend to drive your life at a different speed. Sure, you want to go at your own pace. Sure, only you knows where you are going. Sure, you exit alone when the time comes. Sure, sure, sure.
This is the part where I start to land.
Let me tell you now that there are other people in your lane, people that have been in your lane and people that will come after you in your lane.
About that comparing yourself thing...
Compare your training and knowledge.
Say you want to be an architect, you cannot be comparing yourself with an engineer.
Most definitely, do not do that when it comes to career and education choices.
However, you cannot ignore what other architects are doing today. If there is a new technology they are using, new ways of modelling buildings, ask about it. Find a way to learn it.
Compare at your level.
You want to be a manager, CEO, executive, baker, whatever, some day, but you are not there yet. Ask them or find out what they did at your level, are you doing something similar or not even close?
Say you want to be like Messi, arguably the best ever football player and you are U-23 (under 23). Are you dribbling all the U-23 guys? Are you the best at your level? If not, go and train till you are. Till you become the best at your level, you can't be the best at any other level.
Compare your habits
Habits are a core part of what makes our character. The person you become is directly affected by the habits you make today. Check the habits successful people have, check yours. If you want to be known as a philanthropist, start learning to give. Habits about your giving now won't magically change when you have more money. If you want to be a great athlete, learn what great athletes do as their routine. I've heard an ice bath does wonders after intense physical activities.
Compare your circle.
Say you want to become a fitness guru/personal trainer, I strongly suggest you start switching lanes to find people who have similar goals. There is something about people soaking up traits and attributes of the people around them.
We all have those friends that suggest a stupid idea, 5 minutes later, we are all doing it.
The circle you have needs to imitate the circle your role models have. In your lane, some people will be ahead of you, some will be behind you. Find your balance. You are the average of the closest people you hang around.
Uncle, if you are rich but always hang around 5 broke people, you are the 6th one.
You just don't know it yet.
All I'm saying...
While you are trying to internalize your growth, while you want to become the best version of you, while you should never stop growing, while you should never follow the joneses.
There is always something to be learned from other people are doing. If they are legit succeeding, ask questions, read about them, research about them. Compare your growth and your path to people that have taken that lane. Learn what internal battles they had to overcome that produced external results they have now. Take something good from what people like you are doing and make it part of your development.
Even if you won't do what others are doing, ask and understand why they are doing it, if it still doesn't make sense to you, THEN don't do it. This is especially important when it comes to investing your money. Don't do multi level, the latest stock, or the newest business idea because your friends are doing it. If you've compared your circle enough, they will only do stuff that you would do anyways.
However, don't ignore it, play it off and leave things to chance.
But Most Importantly,