Imagine for a moment, that you and I are passengers on a loaded plane. Suddenly, the pilot’s voice comes over the intercom telling us that we’ve got engine problems and we’re going down. – Not a pleasant thought I’d agree, but stick with me here.
So the aircrew points out to everyone that we’re not going to die and that there’s a parachute under each of our seats. Showing us how to attach it to ourselves, they take a row at a time and walk us to the back door which is now wide open.
‘Air traffic control knows we’re going down,’ they say as they pat you on the shoulder. ‘When you land, head for that mountain.’ One attendant points to a peak in the distance. ‘If we all walk toward it, it’ll make it easier for them to find us.’ And before you can argue with them, you’re given a push in the back which sends you flying out the door.
Once you’ve overcome your bout of screaming for your life, you start to feel a little less scared. It’s not bad up here. Looking up, you can see the wide-open canopy of the parachute doesn’t have a problem carrying you, and you start to relax a little. You wonder why more people don’t give it a go. Looking down at your feet, you can see other open chutes of people already nearing the ground.
You observe where they land. Some are landing in wide-open spaces. Some look like they’ll go down in woodland. And some are landing on marshland. Looking up at your chute and having no ability to control its direction, you find that the wind has picked up and it’s sending you sideways meaning you’ll land further away from the rest. Looking back over your shoulder, your eye catches the mountain peak you’re to aim for.
A minute later you’re down on the ground. You curse to yourself, as you seem to be the furthest away in the group. Why couldn’t you have landed closer to the mountain peak, or in a nice soft pasture that others have? Undoing your clips and freeing yourself from your parachute, you grumble at the journey that’s ahead of you.
How many of us have done that?
Grumbled at where we started in life. Complained that we didn’t land in a pasture of supermodel looks and an easy life. Cursed life for all we’ll have to do to catch up with the pack or be seen as normal. We all have.
We look at what others have landed in life and say that it’s unfair. That they have an unfair advantage. And sometimes we try to copy the journey they take hoping it’s going to get to the goal they have, forgetting that they’re on a different point on the map and we’re walking the wrong way.
Again we all have.
But when each of us starts at a different point, the body we’re born into, our parents and upbringing, the country we grow up in, what happens to us along the way, there is no way we can compare ourselves to anyone else. Because there is no one in the world that’s been dropped in the exact location you have. Sure some may be close, but those exact coordinates you have are uniquely yours.
And your journey is going to be uniquely yours. Your journey can’t be compared to anyone else’s. Just like you can’t compare yours to anyone else’s. – It’s impossible to do. We may all be heading toward the mountain peak, but our starting point and journey there are going to be a lot different.
Focus on YOUR journey, because you can’t take anyone else’s one.