All external competing points you inside
Last night, my friend from China sent me a text. She mentioned that there is a new intern in one of the top accounting companies in the world. The newcomer is just 19, and my friend is 22. She mentioned that she felt some inferiority, pressured to do well. She also beat herself down asking ‘Why is the newcomer so capable? Able to do things 3 years in advance?’
Of course the caveat might be that the newcomer was groomed well with plenty of resources from her parents and entered Shanghai’s top school, making her fluent in both Mandarin and English. I believed the newcomer is well-groomed in other skills as well. It’s natural.
When I saw my friend’s perspective from a third-party POV, everything became clearer.
I will be beating myself down if I was in her position as well.
But everyone needs an objective push sometimes so I will include what I told her, which is what I will tell myself, and tell you.
First, life is not like an exam. It does not measure results based on a singular aspect. Even if someone came to the game 3 years earlier than you, it doesn’t mean you have lost.
Which brings me to the next point. Obama retired as President at age 55, Trump started at age 71. Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook at age 19, Jack Ma started Alibaba at age 35.
Everyone has his or her time to be on the big stage. There is no worldwide agreed timing. Everything is relative. We have been inundated with so much success stories, that we believe we ought to be someone at a particular age. And not achieving that brings a lot of stress on us. I see this on myself as well.
But sometimes we are just not ready. Perhaps it’s due to our upbringing, our learning abilities, our skills, our epiphanies, our inspirations, our experience level. We are just not there yet. But I believe that if we have the desire to continuously improve, we will get what we want, whether or not we become the next successful CEO or entrepreneur.
The journey is the reward, as mentioned in the previous article. The fun of seeing yourself grow and doing things you weren’t able to do before. Whether or not we become successful in the eyes of the society is beyond our control. We can only do the best we can right now.
Last but not least, the new power is in collaboration. Int he old days without social media, power was in controlling resources and knowledge, not sharing them.
With social media and the abundance of knowledge, the new power is in sharing what you have got. Sounds contrary to popular belief?
How then will you become indispensable if you shared important things you know?
So many movements have started because of a person sharing an experience and knowledge. And these have moved on to create bigger value for the society and for the person who started it. An idea is nothing without execution.
Spreading the idea will come back to return rewards in ways we cannot imagine.
Besides, if you are apprehensive after sharing your knowledge, then work harder in other aspects to make it up.
But understand, nobody can be you. Nobody can interact with others like you do, present like you, learn like you, have the same level of skills as you. They don’t have the same strengths, experiences and aspirations as you.
So go on, develop your own strengths, help others get more knowledge to solve problems. The world will be a better place. Your inner world will be a much bigger space.
All external competition points us to competing with ourselves. Do we know our competitive advantages and can we develop them better than they were yesterday? If we can, external competition don’t really exist, nobody can be us.
P.S. A long post, but inspiration came. Had to release. Almost a month writing this short blog.