I was in NYC today attending a conference at Columbia University. I was feeling so proud of being able to lead my colleagues through the subway system. Then, all of a sudden, on the way, I saw a second grader board the train. He was all by himself! That put some things into perspective for me. This was a big deal for me, but it was commonplace for him. I stood there in awe of this child doing his thing, off to school in the morning – it’s just another day in his life.
What is normal? Leading my colleagues on the subway was a big deal for me because I was stepping out of my comfort zone. Does my accomplishment mean less now that I saw a child doing the exact same thing? No, I don’t think so. I think the important take away here is that the most important thing is to keep growing and improving. My life isn’t a competition to be better than everyone else. It’s a challenge to be better than myself.
When it comes to weight loss, fitness, or health-related goals I think it’s very important to focus on everything that I’m doing to improve the quality of my life, while encouraging and supporting others in the same pursuit. There will always be other people who are healthier, more fit, and better informed than I currently am. I want to be part of what is good. If I make my journey a comparison to everyone else, I might be in danger of feeling inadequate instead of empowered. Maybe jealous instead of inspired and what a shame that would be. I’d be missing out on the best part being a witness to the accomplishments of others, admiring their strengths, and getting a glimpse of their stories.