There was a period in my life where I thought I was good at everything. And when I mean everything, I mean everything. There were days where I would even compare myself to others. I would judge them on where they have been. If I heard someone on the tv, preferably a vet telling their story of coming home, I would think how much better my story was to theirs.
“I wrote a book. They should be interviewing me. I’m the one who is cut out for the spotlight.”
I should have done more interviews and press for the book, but I didn’t. I spent a lot of time jealous, envious of other author’s getting attention that I thought I deserved. I spent a lot of my mental energy comparing and parading in my head how great of a writer I am and how I’m good at everything.
I’m not good at everything. In fact, I am not good at a lot of things.
But then, a close person who I was on the phone with one day decided to raise her voice. She swore at me, telling me that my head was getting too big and I was missing the bigger picture.
“What was the picture?” I asked.
“You need to celebrate other people’s successes. You waste so much time not trying to help others and instead think that you should be everywhere. You’ll never be helpful or get what you want when you put yourself in front of everyone else.”
For the first time in a while, I shut the hell up. I didn’t respond back with how good I was at everything. I said you’re right.
I’ll never forget that day because that was the day where I woke up and realized how big the world is, how many more people are out there who have nothing and yet here I thought I was the only one that mattered. I wasn’t helping anyone. I was helping only myself. My ego ran the show.
We can’t get rid of our ego, but we can minimize its impact by celebrating other people’s successes and realizing that our problems are trivial compared to what others are facing.
Be grateful for what we have. It’ll keep the ego in check. At the end of the day, I don’t matter. We all matter.