Many years ago, I met the brother of one of my ex-classmates. When we met, he was very shy and reserved. I decided to attempt to speak to him, and he soon opened up.
I found out, through that brief chat, that he was 12 years old and, he was preparing for his annual school assessment.
I keenly asked him, "What do you aim to score for this assessment?"
He replied, "I have to score 90 per cent."
I probed, "You have to? Why?"
He added, "Because my parents said this is what the top student gets."
The boy's use of words struck me. He had to score 90 per cent, in accordance with the wishes of his parents.
I worried for the boy.
He would grow up living the dreams of others, and meeting targets that others set for him. What about his own dreams and targets? Who will achieve them?
In accepting the dreams and goals set by others, we often forget about ourselves. And even if we go on to achieve them, there is little sense of pride.
We feel no ownership over these dreams or goals, because, quite simply, they are not ours. This can grow to be an unhealthy source of emotions.
A friend recently shared with me, "I often fall back into bouts of negativity and mini depressions. And recently, it got me thinking WHY. I've realised that I get negative when I start comparing my life with [what] it could have been... I think we lead our lives through the lens and opinions of others."
He has found a way out of this problem; a solution which he wants me to share with others.
1. First, we must learn to live by the standards we set for ourselves, and not compare ourselves with others.
2. In achieving the standards we set for ourselves, we should constantly remind ourselves about our achievements.
3. We should constantly take stock of we have, and be thankful for what we already have.
While it is acceptable to aim to be the best, it is also good to be realistic about our goals. Some of us need more time to reach where the best are.
After all, it was a small step on the moon that helped mankind achieve a giant leap!
Let's pursue greater heights by focusing on the things that we can achieve and do.