I'm getting reacquainted with an old friend from college, and we've been sharing how life has unfolded for each of us. As I listen to his extraordinary tales, I am captivated by his achievements and the confidence he has cultivated in himself. At the same time, I find myself comparing his success to my own and doubting whether I've used my time wisely.
I have made deliberate choices to get to where I am now, and it's been a tremendously rewarding journey. Each choice has helped me to cultivate a strong vision and clear values. No doubt, I've used the world around me as a consistent reference point. But ultimately, I'm driven by desire that is born from my own inner vision... something that has developed in stages through my cumulative life experience.
In much of the literature that I read about leadership, there is a consistent theme of identifying one's core values and navigating the ever-changing landscape of opportunity in relationship to those values.
Growth is truly relative, and each of us has to find our own way from one peak to the next. And while we walk our path alone, it doesn't have to be lonely. We will inevitably look around us to gather perspective, recalibrate our steps and refine our vision.
So while success can be measured in many terms, success is always relative to you. And the best form of comparison is you against you. I strive for my own personal best in everything that I do, and remain committed to giving 100% to my current endeavors... even while gazing at the next peak!
Here's a link to a poem called "The Man in the Glass" that had a strong influence on me during my formative years.