Monday, March 26, 2012

Anything I Can Do, You Can Do Better

A friend’s sister turned to me and said of her brother “He’s amazing, he can do anything”.

Granted at the time he was doing back flips so I could see where she was coming from. But I had a similar conversation with my older brother, where he told me that I was beautiful and intelligent and that I just did everything with ease and a smile on my face. When he said this it floored me, HE was the intelligent, articulate one. I just sat there and smiled because I couldn’t add anything to the conversations. My other brother was the social, charismatic one so I always saw myself as “the other one”. Just the girl of the brood.
We seem to directly compare ourselves with our siblings. After all we have the same genetic makeup (give or take), the same parents (give or take) and often go to the same schools and grow up in the same neighbourhood. So how come they can do it and I always seem to fall short?

I’ve seen my parents do it with their siblings. Compare, compare, compare. So we don’t seem to grow out of it.

The only measure I think anyone should use is themselves. But I’ve only come to this conclusion rather recently. So for most of my life I was comparing myself to my siblings and peers. The benefit of peers is they seem to drift out of our lives at some stage, either by choice or just by lifestyle, people drift apart. Often this doesn’t happen with family. Throughout your whole life, there they are, being different, making other choices, showing you how it could have been if you had done what they did.
Hearing my brother say I was successful, that he felt I was getting something right, was a really helpful part of growing up. And let’s face it, we’re all always growing up. We always have someone else in our life that has a better car/job/style/hobby/pet/cook but not one of these people have ALL of these things. My friends with amazing hobbies and passions for something tend to earn less money and those who own their own home and have a better car have more stressful, taxing careers.

Trying to look at all the good things about our peers and see if we can learn something from them rather than letting the envy takeover would be much more useful.

All those amazing, accomplished people in your life are open books. Read them.

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