There’s always going to someone with a better house… Someone with more money. Someone who gets the opportunities that you’ve wanted and coveted and chased for the better part of your adult life. There’s always going to be someone to compete with… It doesn’t matter where you go. Or what stage and age you are at in life. You’re going to find someone you’ll despise and engage with in a zero-sum game. How does one deal with this? I don’t have an answer yet and I’m making it up as I go along… I keep telling myself that if I keep my head down and work hard, it’ll fall in place. But there are times when it gets incredibly difficult to hold on to this belief… Especially for someone with a predisposition like mine. What if it never happens? What if I spend my entire life working towards something and at the end of it, I realize that it was only a mirage? What if this is all that I’m supposed to be?
I keep going back to Matthew McConaughey’s 2014 Oscar acceptance speech. I think he had a part of the answer figured out when he spoke about the three things he needs every day: someone to look up to, someone to look forward to, and someone to chase. While you can view the speech below, or read the transcript here, he ends it with these lines:
So, to any of us, whatever those things are, whatever it is we look up to, whatever it is we look forward to, and whoever it is we’re chasing, to that I say, “Amen.” To that I say, “Alright, alright, alright.” To that I say “just keep living.” Thank you.
Maybe all that I have to do is to keep working towards being incrementally better each day. Maybe all that I have to do is compete with myself and chase the person I want to be five years from now. And maybe all I need to do now is to take a deep breath and say, ‘Alright, alright, alright.’