Life a journey that sometimes passes in a second, and at other times drags on for eternity; it is an experience that for each of us is skewed into uniqueness by our perception.
Depending on your peer group, you may find that everyone has a different take on that. I have known many people who judge themselves and each other so strictly and harshly, that they make life into a contest. You are to achieve this set of goals, in this span of time, or you are considered to be failure.
I have never kept stride with rules. I have always in my own eyes and in the eyes of others, lagged behind the blueprint that is generally accepted for life.
If we consider that life is race, and the finish line is our demise, one would wonder then, why so many people seem to be rushing to get there.
Indeed, although we are all headed to the same end, each of our tracks are different sizes, lengths and wind over different terrain, so how can we truly judge who is farther ahead?
The yardstick by which you measure the relative success of one person, could be completely inadequate for another.
I have pulled my self down and looked back at my lane, wondering what did I do so wrong that I was not at same relative distance as my friends and family.
Each of our races are filled with mini-stages when we reach a plateau of happiness, fulfilment or success; Degrees, marriages, children, a successful business or career etc.
I finally stopped being miserable when I asked myself the question that was lacking from the beginning. Did I want to have these same successes or was my race going to made up of different challenges and thus different rewards?
Doing this taught me to be able to gaze at the successes of others without jealousy or self-hate, and to celebrate their victories with them. To see the evidence of their work and respect the road they had travelled and to support them from the heart.
I learned to only aspire to the same successes if they fit into my plan.
This can be directly tied into budgeting and money. The rich have, and I have less. But my less is more than I need. My less can provide a life is rich with experiences, support my growth and furnish my whims.
By focusing inward and not outward, I can be grateful for what abundance is mine, but celebrate with others when their abundance overflows.
I now see clearly for the first time, that although society as whole has decided what should be considered success, the onus is upon me as the individual, to rewrite those rules and reconfigure those goals.
Now, I run my own race and I stick to my lane.