Arbitary Obsessionist's Blog : Ambition is redundant. In life, mission is everything.

You have to run your own race

with 9 comments

I got an automated mail this morning from Robin Sharma, which talked about ‘the best advise (I) had ever got’. One of them was that you have to run your own race.

My thoughts…

Due to cultural conditioning, we are hardwired to look outside for validation. Our definitions of success and failure are what society wants it to be. And it is pretty hard not to compare yourself with others. External comparison is convenient. It is easier to have benchmarks which are not within our control than those which may be within us. And reason for this is that introspection is tough. It is tough to take a call about what exactly is your personal definition of success; which race are you running; whom are you running against?

And worst part is that it is possible that you are good at something that society considers to be good. But it may not necessarily be good for you. It may not be in synch with your values, beliefs and general purpose of existence. What then happens is that you blindly follow this path of hollow success and end up realizing that though you did climb the ladder successfully, it was the wrong wall (!)

Another danger of social definition of success is that if you measure your success relative to how everyone else is doing you will probably end up far below your potential.

So you need to remember that…

Your life is your own. You have to choose your own race. You have to choose your opponents. Even if it means that you are your only opponent. Atleast you would be running the race on your own terms. It is better to fail at one’s own race than win at someone else’s.

Some questions to help you ponder over this thought –

  • With whom are you competing against?
  • Where has this race taken you?
  • Are you happy with where you have reached?
  • Was the answer to above question dependent on what others think of you?
  • Are you running the best race for you?
  • Or are you running someone else’s race better than they are?

And your life should not end with saying – I have finished first at their race.

It should rather end with – I have finished my race. (Position is redundant).


Written by Dev

April 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm

9 Responses

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  1. We must remember,each one of us have only one life.
    Be constructive,dont run blindly

    b K Chowla

    April 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm

  2. great post!! Judy Garland: ‘Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.’


    April 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm

  3. good post.. comparing ourselves with others is something that we humans have always been doing.. Now “Facebook” is a new way of defining these benchmarks.. looking at others updates, one tends to compare themselves with their life style..

    Avada Kedavra

    April 16, 2012 at 10:45 am

  4. @B K Chowla
    Bang on target 🙂


    April 18, 2012 at 4:33 pm

  5. @Reema
    So true.
    And it is also important that one realizes that he/she may be following someone else’s dream (race).
    The sooner one realises this, better it is.


    April 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm

  6. @Avada Kedavra
    You are right that FB has now become a new way of defining benchmarks. And that is one trend of our generation, which I hate a lot.


    April 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm

  7. Everyone has to run his own race. This is real life.

    almanca tercüme

    June 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm

  8. Came across this post late, but liked reading it.. especially this line – “Another danger of social definition of success is that if you measure your success relative to how everyone else is doing you will probably end up far below your potential.”

    True.. you may be made of higher values than you give credit to, which brings me to the point that we first need to identify that potential within us. I have realized that the greatest danger lies in not imitating other’s success, but in limiting yours. And that happens only when you don’t believe in yourself and tend to undermine your skills.

    Have seen many people afraid of taking on new challenges, new fields, new risks, coz they don’t believe they have it in them to adapt to those changes. Come on now.. when life forces upon you some changes, then you do survive, don’t you? Then why not make some of it yourself?

    Sorry, a long documentary there.. 🙂 But seriously Dev, I have been sinking on the blog front too and have been unable to pen down my feelings, thoughts or opinions, until today.. glad I came back to your blog to re-kindle my thoughts.. 🙂

    Take care


    November 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm

  9. Nice post Dev…………


    December 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm

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