Monday, 24 July 2017

"Comparison is the thief of joy"- Theodore Roosevelt

Anyone that knows me well will know that I am a pretty introverted person, despite being described as a “social butterfly”; I am in fact relatively shy and reserved until you get to know me, and as my closest friends will say, you will never know how I am feeling as I keep everything to myself.
And so, after much debating, and persuasion from friends and family I have finally decided to put my interest in writing to good use to create this blog as a space for me to express my thoughts in words, rather than verbally. 

For my first post, I decided to write about a topic that has resonated with me a lot recently, that being comparing ourselves to others and maintaining a positive image and outlook. Competition and rivalry is an inevitable part of life, as Theodore Roosevelt speaks “comparison is the thief of joy”, thus suggesting the trap of comparing yourself with others has detrimental effects as it forces us to create a negative persona of ourself as well as distorting the image we display to others for gratification.
With going to Warwick University, there is no doubt that the highest achieving, ambitious and competitive individuals constantly surround me. I have become friends with people who may be wealthier, are studying courses which have internships so much more readily available, and achieve better grades than me, and so consequently at times I have felt like I am beneath others and am always a step behind everyone else’s achievements.

These thoughts were particularly heightened during my first year in which I was studying a course that I had no personal interest in, but was rather doing it just to make my grandparents proud of me. I began to question whether I was good enough to be at Warwick, and how I even managed to get there in the first place. It was a constant cycle of negativity, with me not putting as much effort in as I knew I could, as my heart wasn’t in the subject and I was ready to leave university altogether. However, in the words of Voltaire “the longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater their power is to harm us”. Rather than telling yourself that your behaviour is acceptable by making excuses about why you cant do something and what you are lacking in, you should focus on all the blessings in your life to get to a place that you are comfortable in. Because after all, these excuses sound the best to the person that is creating them. Instead of looking at others and thinking that you’re no good in comparison, their success just represents the countless possibilities that are open to you, because you are only confined by the walls that you build yourself. 

The idea that everything happens for a reason can be the most difficult thing to accept at times. Growing up I have been surrounded by the uttermost negativity, with people who were older than me constantly looking for ways that I could fail, and so I think that is where I became an introverted character, as I felt as though if I didn’t tell people what was going on in my life, it would all just disappear. However, despite all the hardships I faced as a child, which I would not wish even my worst enemy to go through, I would not change any of that now, even though at the time it felt like the world was against me, it has turned me into the person I am today; strong, a little sassy and I have learnt to not take shit from anyone. It is important to remember that your life is not determined by what has already happened, and that you have the ability to change it for the better with what is yet to come. 

For me, the initial challenge was to accept that I cannot live my life trying to please and prove to others what I am capable of. Therefore, I took the decision to leave my original course and to pursue something that I was interested in for myself, as I am much more likely to obtain a successful future in something that excites me rather than sitting over a microscope all day, thinking about what I’m going to eat later. If you do not set up a future for yourself that you can see that you will enjoy, there is no point in setting it up at all. As Tyrese Gibson says” dreams are free but the hustle is sold separately” I have really tried to live by this quote recently by trying to make my goals a reality, for example travelling as much as I can, focusing on drawing and photography as that is something that makes me so happy and actually starting this blog in the first place.

And so in conclusion, stay in your lane, our number one rivals should be ourselves, challenging our past weaknesses and tests to use them to turn us into the best versions of ourselves, not battling to become someone that we aren't. 

Thank you for reading


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