Monday, February 21, 2011

My Ynaija post: Thou shall NOT compare

Pilgrim’s Progress: Do not compareGoing through a friend’s album on Facebook, I had to decide on what particular brand of emotion was flooding my heart. Was it admiration, grudging admiration or downright envy? Her skin glowed, she had a Masters, a cute baby, lived in the UK, she looked very beautiful in her nice clothes and above all she looked like she had achieved all her dreams.

I know, I know, that’s a whole lot for pictures to reveal but to my eyes it looked that way. I finally decided that what I felt was admiration. Yes, just admiration! But I hope God didn’t think otherwise.

Everywhere I look now, I see young people achieving things that I am still dreaming about. Some 19 year olds have book deals, some 20 year olds are music stars, some other people are multimillion naira entrepreneurs, and some others are well; just living in America and the UK  and looking like a million dollars.

I know I‘m not the only one who does this; sitting down and thinking everyone else is getting ahead and leaving you behind. There was a time in 2006 when I felt that everybody I knew had a laptop and I swore that I would not let the next year pass by without my having one. I’ve only recently bought one and all of a sudden, I find out that my earlier preconception was so wrong!

After graduating from college in 2006, it seemed to me also that everyone I knew had gotten their Masters by 2009 and I can remember battling with self loathing and wondering thoughts along the lines of “is me be this?”

It was only when I finally decided it was time to get a Masters that I realised that it was only my subconscious exaggerating the number of my friends who had post graduate degrees.
I can go on and on about how my mind has made me feel inferior and insecure about the achievements of my peers, contemporaries and most significantly my juniors.
Scripture says in 1st Corinthians 10: 12b “….but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise”.

We have all been created by God with unique destinies. This truth has been spoken over and over but it seems we all do well with some reminders. Unique destinies, unique ethnicities, unique nationalities, unique geographical locations, unique contacts, unique families, unique challenges etc all make for a truly well rounded world.

I can remember wondering once why I was a Nigerian and not an American and then God led me to a verse in the book of Acts, Chapter 17 vs 26 “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.”
Wow! So even the boundaries of our habitation were appointed? But why? For a unique purpose! There’s a reason why you’re Nigerian and living in Nigeria at this time, so quit comparing.

We all want to be successful; doing well in whatever we do and scaling hurdles all the way. But if we constantly look over our shoulders, comparing ourselves with other people, the only result we’ll get is a crippling feeling of self loathing. There would always be people who seem to be getting ahead faster and it would be pretty unwise to put up yourself against a back drop of their successes. The only success that makes sense is success at being what God has called you to be. Anything else is, as they say, “On Your Own”!

There is a place for a critical appraisal of where you are at every point in time and allowing yourself be challenged by what other people have achieved but wanting to live their lives because it seems better  is a recipe for disaster and a rubbishing of what God intends to do with your own unique circumstance.

The Lord has told me, “Akan, you would just have to trust me daily to reveal my unique purpose for your life; quit looking at other people and just stay with me”. I’m staying with him, folks because it’s so much easier and less nerve wracking.

So, my Facebook friend may in fact be having the time of her life (I’m happy for that), or on the other hand, may just not have it as rosy as I think. All in all; it’s her own unique journey and I’ll do well to face mine. And while all these thoughts were going through my mind, God sends encouragement my way through another friend who says to me that I serve as a source of inspiration to her.

Hmm, so I’m succeeding at something after all!


  1. akan, you have just gone on to say the exact thing that goes on in my heart, and also the replies I receive from God's word. For in the mouth of two or three witnesses,every word is established. kudos babe!

  2. Really good post...I'm really guilty of doing the same you said though, everything happens for a reason so basically, GET OVER IT!! :-)

  3. I keep telling myself the same thing too. I only have to look at my fingers to remember. Thanks for sharing.

  4. It's perfectly human to admire people from time to time.
    However, as you well know - Not all that glitters is gold.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. hmmm...9jamum captured my thoughts exactly... life continues to teach me that NOBODY has it insightful post..weldone.

  6. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Well written. I think it's important to be aware that the grass isn't always greener.

  7. I have moments like these too however, i pinch myself and say, IN GOD's TIME, every thing would be alright!

  8. True, True!
    Everyone has their time and season.
    Ditto P.E.T.

  9. @Bambam... Thank God! So he tells you the same eh? He really is ONE God... Thanks for reading...

    @Pretty Lashes.. It happens to you? Wao.. I guess we're many.. Thanks for reading..

    @Myne.. Yes, our fingers say a lot.. and decause one is longer doesn't necessarily mean they are more important.. Check out the thumb :)

  10. @Naija Mum.. yes, we all love to admire and be admired. and true.. not all that glitters is gold, but even if it were gold.. It doesn't mean my own unglittering metal isn't gold.. bottom line is there's just no way out.. It's just wrong to compare...

    @Ibhade... nobody oh... Some one said rich people say, "money is not everything"...abeg, let me find out for myself... :)

  11. @Anonymous... True that!

    @P.E.T... Very true.. In his time...Someone asked me when I was going to get a particular thing done and I was like I'm waiting for God, and time... One made the other and they are both my allies in bringing me closer to my dream.

  12. @RemiRoy.. Everyone has their time oh and God help us to be available at our time..

  13. Admiration!
    I like that! I too have found myself "admiring" those who have appeared to have made it! But I thank God that He continues to remind me that in His Time i will be as good as the best wine!
    thanks for sharing this post

  14. Inspiring, Thanks for sharing. Thought I was the only one feeling this way, but thank God I have company(ies) It's a good thing because I get the chance to learn from others who have gone through the same things.

  15. @The Soul's Remedy.... as the best wine indeed, Amen! Thabks for reading...

    @Ayokunle...Yes oh.. you have companieeessss!!

  16. I'm in love with ur posts,
    you're right our journey in life is unique, just make the best of urs, and like me keep reminding yourself that u are way better than a lot of people out there, and for that give thanks.

  17. Nice piece. I don't think is of any use comparing yourself with others. We are uniquely made in unique ways.Whether with school certificate, first degree, masters, PhD. We are all unique people. What matters is, to identify your uniqueness and use it for the upliftment of mankind

  18. Joyce Meyer says a way to test yourself while waiting on God for your breakthrough is to see people getting what you WANT and being GENUINELY HAPPY FOR THEM!

  19. @ChizyK... Thank you dera... It is true... There's always someone with a worse sob story

    @Kingsley Paul... Thank you.. You are so right... Our power is in our uniqueness.

    @Olu... Joyce Meyer is on the money.. That is so true...


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