9 February 2018

Talking about time zonesHow often do you compare yourself with someone else?

In today’s world, we’re constantly bombarded with information and images from people’s lives that it is all too easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to everyone else. It’s just as easy to forget that the online lives that people promote are incredibly polished and censored.

Outside the frame of the Instagram shot there could be a very different story! It’s rare for people to share the full story, which is why it is impossible to compare yourself with what you see online.

This is equally relevant in our offline lives. All too often we see the success of others as a marker for our own successes and it becomes a distraction. I saw an interesting viral post on social media earlier today that resonated with me in relation to this.

The post reads:

New York is three hours ahead of California,
But that doesn’t make California slow.
Someone graduated at the age of 22,
But waited five years before securing a good job.
Some became a CEO at 25,
And died at 50.
While another became a CEO at 50,
And lived to 90 years.
Someone is still single,
While someone else got married.
Obama retired at 55,
& Trump started at 70.
Everyone in this world works based on their time zone.
People around you might seem to be ahead of you,
& some might seem to be behind you.
But everyone is running their own race, in their own time.
Do not envy them & do not mock them.
They are in their time zone, and you are in yours.
Life is about waiting for the right moment to act.
So, relax.
You’re not late.
You’re not early.
You are very much on time.

This is a great reminder to check in with yourself. Are you where you need to be? Are you rushing ahead? What does success mean for you?

One of the best ways to manage this is to monitor your goals. It’s incredibly easy to set a goal, write it down, close the book and forget about it. Instead, I find it invaluable to check in with my goals every now and then.

Check in with your own time zone

My wife Gail and I have an annual trip to the Maldives where we set our yearly goals and look at what we’ve achieved over the past 12 months. It is one of the most important things we do all year. It’s fascinating how many goals we rediscover that we’d forgotten about but somehow hit along the way!

This process of ticking goals off the list and tracking your progress helps you to make your success tangible. Success looks different to each of us, so setting and tracking your own goals gives you a measure to compare yourself with, rather than looking to others.

I’d love to hear your stories of success. Have you ever been guilty of comparing yourself to others?

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