I’m in Month 3 of Praxis now, taking on the daily blogging challenge. And I’ve been noticing something about my Praxis advisors: they don’t compare me to others.
Whenever we’re having a discussion about what I could do this week to succeed at my personal and professional goals, they never say, “You should try doing –insert goal here– like –insert fellow Praxian’s name here–.”
They don’t compare to others.
Instead, they say, “How could you achieve this goal?”
They give feedback and advice, most definitely, but a lot of what they say is you driven and you focused. “How can YOU do it?”
Not, “How can you do it like them?” Or even “You should do it like this.”
It’s always “How are YOU going to achieve your goals?”
There’s a fundamental difference in this approach. It challenges you to be self-taught, and self-driven. If you’re driven by someone else’s goals, or you’re taught how to live your life by another person, what are you going to do when that person leaves your life?
If you always follow what the professor tells you, what are you going to do when that professor leaves?
If you always let your parents’ control your life choices, what are you going to do once they’re gone?
Fact: Anyone who influences you will leave.
There is always someone in your life making an impact on you. But no matter what happens, that person is going to leave you. At some point, they are not going to be available.
Sure, there are a few people who stay in your life forever — siblings, a best friend or two, possibly a mentor.
But you have a life outside of them. You’re going to move cities, maybe even countries. There will come a time when you’re in a crisis and that friend doesn’t pick up their phone. There will come a moment when those people’s advice is not available.
And what are you going to do when that happens?
How are you going to cope when there’s no one left to rely on?
I’ll let you in on a little secret:
You always have yourself.
No matter what you do, no matter where you go, you cannot get away from yourself. Some people spend years of their lives trying to ignore the innermost parts of their beings, focusing on others, when the fact of the matter is, you can’t ever get away from it.
People change. They do.
But the most fundamental part of your life — you — will never change.
You may grow and learn with time. You may end up an entirely different person than the one you were two years ago. But you’re still you. No matter where you go, you’re still you.
So if everything in this life is uncertain, and everything is going to leave you, and you could lose that job tomorrow, and your car could be totaled in a wreck, and your house could burn down, and your wife or husband can leave you, or your friends can desert you…
What on earth in this life is certain?
You have one thing:
So if you — whoever you may be — is the only common factor in your life, shouldn’t you be training yourself, growing yourself, and committing to forever driving and challenging yourself to new heights? What are you doing right now to make yourself the best you possible?
What are you doing to grow?
What are you doing to increase your self-awareness?
What are you doing to teach yourself something new?
What are you doing to make yourself think?
What are you doing to see the world in a different light?
What are you going to do today to make yourself a better person than the one you were the day before?
Figure that out.
Then go and do it.