All of us walk around every day telling stories in our head about those we meet. One story I hear a lot is that if someone has succeeded in doing something they are lucky or for some reason it was easier for them. Especially if it’s something we want.
It’s easier to believe that they have advantages that we don’t.
I was on a motorcycle ride this morning with my husband along the lakeshore and saw many people running, biking and walking. People of all shapes and sizes, but the majority were fit looking. They looked like they were out here regularly.
But, someone might see them without their exercise clothes and think that person hit the genetic jackpot. "They probably can eat whatever they want and never exercise." In reality, they work very hard to keep fit.
Another person is making lots of money. But also working 14 hour days with a long commute. "It’s just not fair that they have that good job." The job they went to school for, trained for, got mentored for and built relationships for.
For me, people can say I am lucky that I work from home and live a simple lifestyle. But, I also live in our 1920’s tiny starter home that we bought 16 years ago. We drive older vehicles and make less money than our siblings. I say no and make hard choices to live how I live.
Everybody has advantages and disadvantages. Maybe you are born creative, but are terrible disorganized. Maybe you have the drive, but have a chronic illness. You want someone’s garden, but this is the way she deals with depression by making herself get outside. You are envious of the stay-at-home mom and all the time she must have, but she is dealing with three kids under five without a moment to herself.
I see behind-the-scenes of many people in my line of work. No one has it all together. It does take work to succeed in areas you want. You probably can’t succeed in every area, but you get to choose.
As you go about this week, notice what stories you are telling about people. Are you saying how much easier they have it than you? Complaining about life not being fair? Making excuses about how you could do it to except for whatever disadvantage you may have.
When you notice those thoughts, instead congratulate people in your head for their hard work and success. Assume a different story and know you can do it too.
Photo by Barney Moss