An essential component of a personal development plan is surveying the our “lifescape” looking for growth opportunities. We scan to find value we can integrate into our personal strategies and model for others.
But the truth is that most of us are doing this even apart from any strategy for personal growth, especially today. It can be difficult to avoid what is around us when information is pushed at us from every direction using every available media and means. That makes it a challenge not to fall into a comparison trap for everything we see.
What happens when we measure ourselves based on what we see in others? It depends. This kind of comparative approach can serve us by pushing us to stretch ourselves. We can be inspired and motivated by seeing the success of others. But those comparisons can also limit us if we fail to recognize the good in what we already have or believe something is beyond our reach. Unfortunately, all too often that is the result. Whether it is seeing the “grass as greener on the other side” or falling into that trap of “keeping up with those mysterious Jones”, the exercise isn’t serving us.
That is why we need to have a personal strategy that allows us to process information in a way that generates positive change. It is inevitable (and even somewhat desirable) that when reviewing our “lifescape” that we are going to see something that creates the desire to have it for ourselves. Here are three possible responses to make certain that what happens next works in your favor:
- Remember that not everything is about you or for you. Sometimes it is best to be the audience and congratulate the other gardener!
- Whenever you feel a response that has an edge of personal dissatisfaction in it, pause and name 10 blessings in your life. Focus on your good. Keep perspective.
- Remind yourself that there is NOTHING you cannot have if you are willing to pay the price. The price is rarely $$’s. It’s almost always about our daily life and the disciplines we honor.
Is the newest object of your desire worth the price? If so – claim it. If not, see option 1.
Final thought: Remember that every time you see something that seems to be “greener” in someone else’s world, that there are others looking at you and seeing “greener”, too!
Live today like you want tomorrow to be.