It’s all about perspective: The myth about having your shit together
Let social media tell it: you’re the most broke, least accomplished and least traveled of all your friends. Just turn on your phone and without fail, there will be someone who’s doing what they love and living their best life at a level you can only dream of.
I’m talking trips out the country, perfect GPAs, dream job — the whole gamut. Even on a more fundamental level, if you look too much into it, it will feel as if everyone has a grasp on life that you just can’t get ahold of.
For example, the other day I saw someone broadcast how they paid off their student loans in full, and not too long after I saw this couple, who couldn’t be any older than 25, boast about putting a down payment on a home. Both feats that made me question my entire existence.
In the spirit of showing our best selves, social media has made all of us appear a lot better than we actually are. In result, it feels like others have got their shit together far more than us, regardless of how true that actually may be.
Because we’re habitual consumers of this hyperbole, these projections, to some degree, make us insecure. We find ourselves wondering what they’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong; why they’re succeeding and why you’re not.
Fact is, we all want to do well in life. Despite how much we procrastinate, and how reckless we behave at times, we want to live abundantly, prolifically and efficiently — not just scraping by.
Since getting bitten by that independence bug in high school it’s been a nonstop journey of proving we’re responsible enough and that we’re good stewards of our lives. So when we see others who have it together, quite naturally, it causes us to question ourselves.
This is why we get down on ourselves when it looks like everyone else gets it: because we want to master this adulting thing, too.
Well, I’m here to tell you that what you see is rarely the case. No one person has it all together, nor is one person on top of everything. Even if someone has accomplished something you’re working towards, there are areas in their life that they wish to improve that, in their minds, is just in as much disarray as you believe yourself to be in.
Having your “shit together” is relative. It’s relative to who you are, where you’re going, and where you’re from. We all have a different set of responsibilities that are unique to our specific lives, so making these responsibilities equivalent across the board is an inaccurate assessment.
J.Cole’s track off of 2014 Forest Hill’s Drive, “Love Yourz”, is the perfect remedy for this phenomenon. In the chorus, he sings, “there’s no such thing as a life that’s better than yours,” and it’s true.
What you go through and the tasks that lie ahead of your life will just take different form through another’s lens. The angst we feel from what we’ve yet accomplished is the same angst Bill Gates, that 4.0 student or whoever else’s life looks appealing faces. It just looks different.
You’re always going to want more for yourself. Instead of looking at the next person and envying what they’ve accomplished and how they’re living, what we should do is focus on whats in front of us and improving upon it little by little.
You have your shit together far more than you think you do.
Even having the present mindstate to acknowledge your desire for better is lightyears ahead of most. It’s only when we’re engaged in what we don’t have and what we haven’t accomplished that this depressive outlook becomes overbearing.
No matter what level you reach, you’re always going to see that there’s a high level ahead. Our job is to conquer where we are, not where we want to go; only then will we see that our shit has been together all along.