Last week American Besse Cooper celebrated her 116th birthday. One of her two secrets to healthy longevity? Mind your own business. Yoga instructors tell us to “Stay on your mat.” In motorcycling we learn to focus our eyes where we want to go.
It sounds simple enough. Yet it’s so easy to get sidetracked by observing others and comparing how we stack up against them. While looking to others for inspiration helps our growth, measuring our worth against their accomplishments only slows us down.
- Balance. Taking on other people’s problems can throw you off balance, at the expense of your own well being. Please note. I’m not referring to helping others or being of genuine service. I’m talking about interfering where you have no business being and letting others sidetrack you from your goals.
- Freedom. You can do whatever you want, led by your inner guide. You’re not shackled by the opinions of others.
- Self-Worth. By ranking yourself against others, not only do you underestimate your own worth, but you will vacillate with their ups and downs, or who you measure yourself against.
- Confidence. When you follow your own compass, you develop the skills and abilities that are inherently yours. Each success builds on itself, preparing you for even greater challenges.
- Sense of Accomplishment. You know what you have accomplished and can take pride in it. You don’t know what others have done to get to where they are, what they have sacrificed or the price they have paid. Nor do you need to. It’s their journey and their life.
- Potential. By redirecting energy that would otherwise get burned trying to stay up with others, you have much more to direct towards your own goals. Your potential in fulfilling your purpose is limited only by how much energy you apply and how you address challenges.
- Creativity. Keeping your mind free of clutter keeps you in the present and makes room for creativity.
We come into this world with a unique purpose and the abilities, strengths and power to fulfill that purpose. Our best chance of success is to focus on our own life, our own goals, our own strengths and ultimately our own inner guidance. It will never let us down.
There will always be someone richer, poorer, more attractive, more popular, older or younger. There is only ever one You!
BTW, Besse’s other secret to longevity? Avoid junk food. Read her story here.