Who are you in competition with? Who actually matters in the grand scheme of your life? How many times have you stopped trying to compete with others and started a chess match with yourself? There's no greater competition than you competing against everything you are versus everything you want to be. If you live your life in the co-pilot seat, the captain will remain happy having you as the "right hand man". What about you?
There has been or will be a moment in everyone's life that you ask yourself, "Why am I here?" What you're seeking is a purpose; a reason that your life matters just as much as the next person. There are two people that you absolutely have to deal with everyday; one is the "Devine" and the other person is staring back at you in the mirror.
In 2002, I watched the Los Angelas Lakers versus the New Jersey Nets live in New Jersey. I was one year into college, and I felt like the world was at the tip of fingers. There I was in New Jersey; riding in a limo to the NBA Finals; sitting four roles above Donald Trump. I could see the sweat dripping off players; during half time, I literally rubbed shoulders with 4'9 (exaggeration) Spike Lee; I even watched Snoop Dog do the "c-walk" at the end of the game. Living in a borrowed "players paradise". It was worth every minute.
On the way back to Houston, I just so happened to be on the same plane as Angie Stone. Many of you don't remember the R & B singer, but back in the day she had a couple of good hits. She was with her "entourage" in first class, and I have to say they were acting pretty stereotypical "celebrity". I watched their mannerisms; how they interacted with the flight attendants; most of all how they treated the coach class of flyers. There was a distinct difference in their interactions; some air of "indignant" in their requests. Sitting on the plane, I realized there's only one person that I can be: ME.
There's no glory for me in being satisfied by watching others be successful. For me, acceptance of "just getting by" is a low blow to self-esteem. Forget unrealistic approaches to "self". It's pointless to walk around believing I'm a musician if I never mastered an instrument. The focus, the mindset, the hunger, has to be invested in knowing my strengths and weaknesses; understanding how they help or hinder my progression in life. Why waste time on dreams when you have goals?
I've never liked when people say they are "dreamers". I can't wrap my mind around how dreaming moves anyone forward in life. Dreams are visions that happen in imagination; goals are desires that you plan and commit to. I want to be the champion of accomplishing my goals. I want to look myself in the mirror everyday and "turn-up" because I know my opponent; I know the challenge; I know the game plan, and I'm committed to the work.
I refuse to live my life working for others; however, I will live my life working for the betterment of myself and for the growth of others. The Army defines leadership as "influencing others by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to complete a mission". This is the vision I want to lead with. Movements happen when people share common agendas, mindsets, and ideas. You can be anything you want in this world but you have to be prepared to accept the uniqueness within yourself and others, with the understanding that many others may not value or understand that uniqueness. Isn't that the very point of being unique?
Look at yourself in the mirror everyday, and ask yourself, "Who on this earth can stop me from achieving what I want but ME?" Say it everyday, and if you stay with that mindset, stay on your "grind"; walk and talk with that inner swag of self-confidence- RESULTS will come. It won't be overnight; no transformation ever is. But, when you begin to see the results you desire and worked so hard to achieve, you'll realize that the fight to better yourself was worth it all.
Pick and choose your battles; just remember to make sure they are battles for the betterment of yourself, and not because of the envy of others.
Me vs Me- there's no other way to LIVE.