Life Is Not A Race

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You hear other people's stories and your mind instantly goes into a comparison mode: are they doing better than me or am I doing better than them? It's the way we are naturally wired. We competed for same limited resources in our tiny caves and hamlets at the beginning of our existence. Everyone was literally a threat. Maybe you got to see just 20 females of your age throughout your life, then another guy getting one of them seriously limited your marital progress. Maybe only one person could be the leader as there were no specializations, and it was a lifetime of trying to out-compete the others. Life was just one intense race from birth to death. And our original wiring was well suited to environment. From childhood we are constantly trying to be better than our peers in everything, even at rolling tires down the street.

In this modern world, things have drastically changed. We meet thousands of eligible mates throughout our lifetime. We can be a leader without having to pull anyone down. We practically have access to inexhaustible resources. The sky is not even the limit. Everyone can achieve whatever he wants to achieve without having to kill someone. Life is no longer a race. But our configuration is yet to adjust to that new reality. So we still keep living like someone else's success hurts my success and someone else's failure aids my success.

What then should we take life as?

Life is an adventure. You don't go on an adventure to Madagascar to experience their unique collection of amazing and rare creatures, and then spend your time in front of TV watching Nat Geo Wild and envying the people you see having other types of adventures. And that's exactly what we do. Anybody who catches our attention, be it at work, on the pages of newspaper or during a conversation, we immediately switch into competition mode. It becomes a race -- who is better?

I occasionally get caught in that competition mode but I am very quick to recognize it and break away from its grasp. There are people whose success are enviable and even make me feel little. I tell myself that it's a feeling, it will wash away. I only take away any valuable lessons from their success that can help me on my own journey but never try to wish I am them. I don't start comparing myself with them.

I totally take life as an adventure. Mine shouldn't be same as yours and, more importantly, I'm going to miss out of the fun in mine if I focus too much on yours. I try hard to enjoy mine. You too should.


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