Social media has made it easier to stalk old classmates. You follow them up with a non-existent name, created to just check on your friends. You try to see where they are and compare it to the kind of persons they were while in school. You also bring yourself into the picture. You try to see the level of their progresses; the type of cars they are driving; is it something cool? You look through their clothes, the places they visit, if they have children, if they have jobs, you look for something that you can hold on to, something that can give you some hope. It is terrible when you were smarter than them in school. You answered most of the questions in class and had amazing grades. You try to see what they lack and how you have been able to surpass them in your little way, oh; you are doing well with a business.
Many things lead a man into chasing a postgraduate degree around here. A postgraduate degree is what one does while waiting on the big miracle, for marriage, for the perfect job, for everything good. A postgraduate degree is a classic excuse to give to friends: oh, I am running a PhD in Communications. You know, I wish to finish all things related to school before chasing money, family and whatnot. It is a great form of distraction and you know it.
But, you should not feel that you are less of yourself because someone has taken a step ahead of you except if you are in a race with them. And you cannot race with people whose drive and motivations are unknown to you. What should drive you should be the dream in your head, the one that makes you feel fulfilled. The one that makes you relevant to yourself and the world, the one with which you’d feel that your coming to earth was not by accident – it may not be perfect but you are on it. What should motivate you should transcend what kind of progress that your friends make. It is true that you’d think: every rational person would evaluate their progress rate, but blaming yourself or nursing anger leads to desperation. You should only be worried if you had always sat at home, in front of the TV, without adding value to your life. When you have been busy adding values to your life, you should be expectant. The economy changes! The things that the world cared for yesterday may not be what the world cares about today. Few years ago, it did not matter if you did not have a place to take your young child to when you had to go to work. Today, the people who work at the crèche have fun time with children and get paid heavily.
Life is lived in stages and experienced on individual basis. And progress is personal, and success is relative. Some people, after leaving university, the odd, nerdy folks change, they make friends, they get new skills, they think more about solving problems. If they are lucky and their solutions match with the demand of the moments, they become successful. And rich!
You should not compare yourself and your rate of progress with anyone. You are allowed to be challenged to work harder and smarter. You are allowed to rethink your strategies. You are not allowed to fall into depression because you saw a secondary school junior who you fed years ago but who now drives a luxurious vehicle. What if it was borrowed for the weekend but you didn’t ask because you are King of assumptions? What if he was lucky and yours would come too. Maintain a positive outlook. Appreciate providence for where you are. You’d be fine. Everyone would be fine. And may your sun rise daily and may you have great health. Cheers!
Bura-Bari Nwilo is the author of A Tiny Place Called Happiness