It’s easy to get caught up in what everybody else is doing, but seriously mind your own business. There are many analogies that speak to the importance of staying in your own lane and for good reason.
If you are always comparing yourself to your peers, you may start thinking that you are not doing enough. You start trying to do everything they’re doing, hoping for the same or better results. But you’re playing their game, not yours.
Or you get this false sense of accomplishment because you “think” you’re doing better than them. When in fact they may not be telling you everything that they’re doing.
Neither are good. Run your own race. Focus on your own goals.
The vision you have is uniquely yours. Your path, career and ultimately your life may not look like anyone you know. What’s more, is that you might not even want what they have.
How to run your own race.
- Never be ashamed of where you started.
- Do not compare yourself to others.
- Do not ask your peers what their grades are after an exam.
- Do not obessess over what your peers are or are not doing. i.e. studying vs. partying
- Do not focus on the clerkships or job offers of your peers. What is meant for you will be.
- Pay attention to what you want out of life.
- Research what you need to do to get to where you want to go.
- Work diligently towards your goals.
- Challenge yourself.
- Stay humble and never underestimate the power of treating people well, with kindness and respect, from the custodian to the CEO.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate people. That doesn’t mean that you won’t have close friends you confide in and share scores, grades, job offers, etc.
Iron sharpens iron, so pick friends who will encourage and motivate you to work harder.
What is important is that you check your motive. Are you sharing to brag or illustrate that you have one upped them? (No one is fooled by the humble brag.) Are you looking for validation? Or are you genuinely happy and simply want to celebrate?
Don’t lose sight of your hopes and dreams and do not get distracted by what you see others doing. Stay in your lane. Run your own race. You are only competing with yourself.