Talking with some friends who have achieved many meaningful things in their lives, or at least, that is what most people around them think, I had some interesting epiphanies.
Viewed from my perspective, most of them have achieved wonderful things, one of them has written more than 30 books, some of them best-sellers in different countries, another one has a company that helps poor people in different countries, the other one has made many movies that were really famous worldwide, and he is still very respected in the film industry.
Yet, they do not see themselves as overachievers, despite the fact that most of us around them see them as role models to emulate.
When talking to them in a reunion, I was amazed to see that they actually see themselves as “regular” people, they always have someone “above” them that they admire and wish to imitate at all costs.
For instance, I asked my friend who is a very successful writer how did he start writing books? Was it difficult? Was it something he always wanted to do?
He told me that he had never thought about writing a book, he actually just began writing and words began to flow by themselves. By “accident” he met a friend whose brother was working in a newspaper and he had the idea to give his book for free to every new subscriber, the editors liked the plan and his career began in a “magical” way.
My friend the actor used his last savings to produce a movie where he was the main actor, nobody knew him, but he was really good, specially in action scenes. So, he loaded his film in the truck of his car and began visiting small movie theatres around the country trying to convince the owners to include his film once or twice in the program. Most owners declined his offer, but he managed to convince some of them, he said sometimes he actually had to pay for his film to be included but he made it. Some people saw one scene that took him in a very interesting journey to fame and fortune.
My other friend, ended up one day with no money whatsoever, he was in a desperate situation for some time, and knew what living in the street desperately searching for some food meant.
One day he had to stay overnight in an old house where some homeless children were living, they told him how they had to manage every day to get some food, and how they shared everything they had with each other. They were a very strong community and they looked after each other in a marvellous way.
He felt he could give them a hand as well, and began sending emails to local entrepreneurs who got rapidly interested in his project. He founded an organization that nowadays helps children in third world countries around the world.
And do you know what all of them have in common?
They all were afraid to start something, they did not know how or where to begin, but they just decided to take the first step.
In the beginning they all felt strange, ridiculous, they lacked the resources and the “how” to begin their journeys.
You might be afraid right now, you might think that you are not capable to begin something big, something wonderful and meaningful. But that is what makes journeys exciting!
Probably you too are feeling that you do not know what next step is. Probably you think you are doing too many mistakes. Probably you too feel you are advancing too slowly or not advancing at all. But if you look behind a moment, and you look at the distance you have walked, no matter how big or small it appears to you, you will realise that you have a big advantage over millions of people around the world: You are trying.
You are still ahead of millions of people out there who are still thinking that their dreams cannot come true. Some of them might achieve it, some will not even begin, but at least you will be in the group of people who are making the difference in this world.
Do not just talk, do not just criticise others, go out and try it. And once you begin trying you will realise that when you really try, and you really want it, you will make it.
Stop comparing yourself to others, stop being shocked and paralysed by another people’s success. Begin your walk, step by step, even baby steps are wonderful and better than standing still. Just start your journey with your eyes focused on your goal and be open to the new paths in front of you.
Now you know what you need to begin this adventure.
Congratulations for your advantage.