heart in union square, san francisco. taken by chanelle henry

Is it too late to be awesome?

The dangers of comparing, perfectionism and being too hard on ourselves.

I was talking with a friend today about all the different blogs, websites and people that I follow online. He was amazed that I rattled off all of these websites with ease without having to really look anything up. I have been trying to find a place to house all of the awesomeness that I find on a daily basis.

“That way, I can share with you the journey of my findings in real time”, I joked.

As I was showing him foundation.kr (started by Kevin Rose, founder of Digg and other awesome sites), I started to feel by looking at Kevin’s list of investments, companies he founded and other achievements that I haven’t really done anything with my life. Now… if you ask those around me, they would definitely beg to differ. I’ll spare you the details of my life that will only result in a embarrassing need for validation, but as I started to look at his list, and at mine, I came to a couple conclusions:

  1. I need to do more.
  2. I need to forget about #1, and realize that I just want to do more, and desire a certain level of success that could come if I just focused more.
  3. I need to not be so hard on myself with #1 and #2, and breathe.
  4. Life can happen in the blink of an eye, no matter what age, so create the habit to build mometum.
  5. There is a danger in comparison.

I had to actually take a step back from the dark road I was about to go down. I looked at my life and thought about all the things I could have accomplished as a kid that has had a computer since 1987. What was in my way? Why didn’t I achieve more? What was wrong with me?

The answer was simply this. I have been in my own way by creating a high standard by which I compared myself, measured myself and then downed myself all because I felt I had to be something more. Something greater. Someone other than.. well, me. There is a danger in never taking time to celebrate the small (or large) victories.

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

So what’s the point in all of this? I think the point is in learning how to simply just be. It’s difficult and I believe it takes a lifetime to master. Comparing is as much of a disease as perfection. When we learn to be ourselves, be patient, and how to be comfortable in our own skin, then – and only then – will we achieve true happiness.