Arun, an acquaintance of mine, called me the other day after he had read a post on my blog. He wanted to discuss a relationship that he was wondering about. A former classmate, let’s call him Gautam, called Arun over for a meeting of old friends. Arun accepted the invitation, and casually told Gautam that he had stopped drinking. Gautam then told him, “Please don’t come. You will make us all uncomfortable!”
Arun was naturally shocked. He told me, that Gautam was also rude enough to ask him personal questions like what his salary was, etc. Then Arun said something that really struck me. He said: ” I have made investments of time and money to develop myself and improve my personality, whereas Gautam is stuck at where we were in our college days. And yet he wants to compare himself with me.” Arun was not boasting – it was just a statement of fact. And having known him for a few years, I knew it was true.
I thought how much like the Ant and the Grasshopper. The ant worked hard, while the grasshopper played and then the grasshopper expected to have the same results when winter came.
Sometimes we tend to envy people who seem to be very successful. They seem to have it all together: a great family, good friends, a successful business/job. They seem to be unstressed and at peace with themselves. And we kid ourselves into thinking, ‘Oh, they just got lucky’ or ‘That was easy for that person, s/he didn’t have the problems I did’. Do we look under the surface, to see what how much of time and effort that person has invested to achieve what they have? We might be surprised when we do. What you will that is that these people are committed to achieving their full potential. They are walking the path of personal development.
‘But isn’t personal development something that just happens with age?’ you ask. No, certainly not.
Personal development is first and foremost a decision to commit yourself to realizing your own potential. It means that you have to commit to re-aligning your life to your goals. It means having to change ways of thinking and behaving. It means, that you have to grow up!
Sounds like a lot of work? Not really.
Once you set yourself on this journey of personal development, you will find, as I have, that things will steadily fall into place and growth will cease to be work, but will become a pleasure.
The moment one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings, and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way. ~ Goethe
Committing to personal development is committing to being You – the best possible YOU. Why would you not want to commit to that?
This post first appeared on Larry Lewis’ Healthy Lifestyle Living
And it is the best thing we can do to ourselves.
Ah! Been there, done that, acted like an idiot and learned my lessons that I need to change, myself, my mindset and work harder if I wish to reach my goals!
Oh, and also, stop comparing my journey with that of the others. It does feel good now that I only focus on my work, compare myself with what I was earlier and also my work with what it was earlier. The sooner we learn this lesson, the better it is for us all, isn’t it?
A thought-provoking one. I think that personal development is about self-awareness first and then taking steps to be a better version of our own selves. Now this takes times but is possible. Hardest part is knowing that we are not perfect and will never be.
A good one there!
I have had this conversation with peeps in my school/college circles. generally its the men who do this muscle flexing about careers/money/ house, etc! Women tend to compare based on what kind of marriages other women are having and what they are into. I got so fed up of this evaluation that I switched off some of these circles and for good. Not on their WA groups or anything else. I am considered a you-know-what for not “mingling”! None of them gets how inane this whole activity is! Well each to their own, but its would be great if they would grow up and see whats beneath the surface!
Loved the thought process Corinne!
Any change requires hard work and changing for the better all the more so. It’s funny how some people have the Peter Pan Syndrome and remain in a time warp. Personally speaking I find that my personal development has been more organic rather than deliberate – perhaps it is a function of aging or getting wiser with experience….
Probably that’s why we shouldn’t compare ourselves with others or even with the past us. Loved the message here, Corinne. <3
I like what you say about not comparing our present with the past, Vinitha. Very insightful. Thank you.
wow…. superb post which even I felt many times when people start feeling envious or compare themselves with others. According to me, everyone has their own story of struggle, so one should not compare their stories with anyone. Corinne, you said what was in my heart, in such a simple yet strong way. loved it dear…
Yes, comparing stories is never a good idea! Thanks for stopping by.
Oh, Corinne. I really love you. You know that, don’t you? As always, you write about things that I can easily relate to. I confess, I was like the grasshopper and I’m slowly, consciously trying to change that. This post has, again, come at the right time. It’s like you reading my mind 🙂
Haha..You know it’s mutual, Shalini. I write or share mainly to remind myself of lessons or to express my confusion. If it resonates with others, I feel blessed. I’m glad this made sense to you.
You do know , bloggers are actually on a self-discovery or personal improvement journey ?Absolutely loved reading this post .I think we are all ants persisting in our work and that’s why we write to keep records!
Ah true, Amrita. Didn’t quite see it that way before! Thanks for sharing.
The path to self development and growth is a choice. Like they say, growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional. Thanks for a thought-provoking and meaningful post, Corinne.
Right, Shilpa. And it’s a choice we sometimes need to make daily!