I once heard Maya Angelou say, ‘Comparison is Odious’. (She was so skilled at making one word seem as long as a sentence). I confess I had to look up the word ‘Odious’ to understand the dignity of her statement.
extremely unpleasant, repulsive, revolting, repellent, repugnant, disgusting, vile, foul, abhorrent, loathsome, deplorable, dreadful, terrible, distasteful.
Comparison is something I battle every day – and I know you do, too! Along the information highway and in the advent of social media, we are constantly bombarded with images and stories of success that seem almost unattainable. So much so, that I get convinced that my little is not enough – my contribution is not substantial or worse, unimportant. It distracts me, stagnates me, and removes me from my unique work. Miss Angelou’s definition seems harsh, but there’s so much wisdom there. If we start looking at our stagnating unique work as a repulsive occurrence, then I reckon we would be more careful about falling into it’s trap and fall into action instead!
Here are my suggestions:
- Figure out your Unique Work: What are the things you do well? What has life prepared you for? What is something you get complimented on often? Look at the obvious – it’s so intuitive to you that it may seem silly. Once you have it, write it down where you can see it and work on it a little every day!
- Interact with your Role-Models: Once you know the what, you can look for people that are doing similar things. As far as it is possible, try to open up conversations with them. This can be really grounding and give you an inside look on how much hard work goes into the success you desire. Trust me, it’s never overnight.
- Stop Staring and Start Doing: If I keep reading other authors and writers and never stop to create myself, then I’m not really doing anything, am I? Get inspired by others, but make sure you are doing, too. You are made to!
There are over 7 billion people on this planet, each with a Unique Work and Calling. If we each do our part, we will progress as individuals and as a collective people, too!
I look at the life of someone like Miss Angelou and all that she accomplished and said and it was entirely unique to her. I aspire to find my own unique voice for my generation and I know you do, too!