SLR 082: Life Is Not A Race!

Simple Life Reboot“Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.” – Saint Augustine

When it comes to our work, there is nothing wrong with hustle.  I believe that highly productive people are to be admired.  When it comes to life in general, however, it is of great value to yourself, and to others, to establish a more relaxed, consistent rhythm.

Life is not a race!

But still…

When I stand in line at the grocery store, I choose the shortest line.  After I have chosen it, I still look at how fast the other lines are moving in relation to my own. I become unhappy if the longer line next to my own moves faster?


When I’m driving on the Interstate, I automatically pass the next vehicle ahead of me, and feel a sense of satisfaction once I’ve gone by, believing I will beat them to where they are going, even though they started out three hours before me and have a hundred miles further to go.

We live in a world that is competitive, but I think at times I lose perspective on when and where I need to be competitive.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” —Theodore Roosevelt

In any endeavor outside an actual race, where all participants begin on an equal footing, it is folly to compare your position at any given time to that of others.  Trying to measure success or standing based on the success or standing of others is a mistake, and here is why.

Comparing one human being to another can never be remotely accurate due to the fundamental truth of how unique each of us are.  When it comes to things like motivation, innate ability in a given area, personal determination, where we started out in “the race”, how far we have come, or even the definition of success, measurement becomes meaningless.

“Don’t judge a man by where he is, because you don’t know how far he has come.” – C. S. Lewis

I think Joshua Becker said it best in his blog post, “A Helpful Guide to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others,” when he spoke of the “infinite number of categories upon which we can compare ourselves and an almost infinite number of people to compare ourselves to.”  Indeed, where does it end, once we begin comparing “the worst we know of ourselves to the best we presume about others”?

Let’s be competitive in our work, but gracious in our living.

If you enter an actual race, race to win!  But as for life, let us not be fooled by the appearance of success, or trip over the folly of comparisons.  We are each unique in who and where we are in life.  Celebrate the effort made by others, as you continue along your own path.

And never forget…

“If you’re lucky enough to do well, it’s your responsibility to send the elevator back down.” – Kevin Spacey


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2 thoughts on “SLR 082: Life Is Not A Race!

  1. Such wise words and attitude. The race through life robs us of the pleasure of the interaction with others. Savor the moments. Even the mundane is precious time. Relax and enjoy.
    Your thoughts and perceptions are extremely clear in this presentation. Enjoyed it immensely.