”As a fresher at the university, a state university in my country, Cameroon, very excited and passionate about getting into the university, one could easily perceive success and prosperity nearer at least for the fact we got used to crossing steps. From class one to seven, form one to upper sixth, it was all about crossing the next step. But as time went by and became more exposed to reality, I realised we no longer had to depend on a set of pre-planned steps by government and educational institutions to cross. Instead, we had to later design our individual bridges to cross and set of rules to follow. I realised responsibility was shifting completely to me when it comes to who I really want to be, where I really want to go to and what kind of future and success I really want for myself.”
From the moment we were born to our departure, we all are bound to face challenges and experiences that life offers for us. Such challenges and experiences we encounter are never the same but different and unique to each individual. Thus everyone, irrespective of status, has a different story to tell and perception about life based on the individual experiences witnessed each second in life.
One of our main and common objectives in life is to achieve success. What we want,how we get it and when we get it are some of the most challenging moments we keep combatting on a daily bases. Apparently, there is no defined path to success. Of course, if defined paths existed, everyone will give it a try. At least what we agree to be common is our effort in trying to reach our goals.
We all have different pathways to success. We may have similar objectives and eventually arriving at the same destination, but our paths are definitely never the same. Some have easier pathways than others, some narrower, some tougher, and of course, some find themselves doing something unrelated to what they initially aimed for along the way. So, it could be very misleading comparing your success path with others, trying to do exactly the same things they did in arriving where they are. Instead, what we can do is learn and draw inspiration from others’ journey to success.
Below are some specific reasons why you need to avoid comparing your journey to success with others;
1. Potential source of limitation.
Trying to link or use others’ pathways to success as a reference can limit you to attain your full potential. Meaning, you no longer try to have a complete command of your journey but you let others’ journeys control yours.You may not find a possibility of looking further. In this case, you prevent yourself from contributing something different and also affect negatively your adaptability to changes. This could limit growth by impeding creativity.
2. It could lead to frustration.
Another reason to avoid comparing pathways is that it could lead to upsets. Sometimes you may feel frustrated when things don’t go as planned, especially considering the effort and energy you put all together. And so, this might put you in unpleasant situations which you weren’t prepared for and difficult to get over it or risk trying something else. Remember, no two can tell exactly the same story of success, not even colleagues occupying the same position. Everyone takes a unique route.
3. Not all details are known.
You can’t know all of the different stages people crossed before arriving where they are. Some stages were indispensable to their success which aren’n neccessarily what you may need or even if you do, may never cross. So, not only can you not get every detail, but not everyone can be honest with history and procedure about success for different reasons. You can only get a clue and draw some inspiration from their stories.
4. Time factor.
Time plays a huge role in determining the kind of success lanes we take. Therefore,how we use and respect time is so important. As earlier mentioned, people take longer time than others to succeed and vice versa. Some are more patient than others and so it’s not realistic comparing pathways simply because you can’t easily assess individual levels of patience.
5. External factors/conditions.
The conditions and external factors we all are exposed to in life are different and produce different effects and experiences. Our different backgrounds, play a big part in how we choose the lanes we want to follow. Hence, it’s never logical comparing pathways especially when you become very unrealistic. This is not to indicate that success is limited by certain conditions. Of course, some conditions are quite challenging but the focus should always be the constant battle to find a lane out of every situation.
The term ”success” is subjective. What is called success to one could be considered less of a success to another. The bottom line is trying to be at a better position and condition than in the past. Additionally, self-believe. determination as well as being passionate about what you do is all that matters as long as it’s all about trying to improve every aspect of life.