Don't Compete with Your Friends

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friends

Me and my friends are big dreamers and like a lot of the same things. It hasn’t always been a smooth journey, but I now have an outstanding group of friends I’ve made throughout my life that share similar talents, interests, and dreams without seeing one another as competitors. For example:

  • At least five of my friends from college are applying for joint degrees in policy and business. This delights me. I feel that for my friends, I kicked open the door for us liberal arts degree students to explore our “other side” and run with the big boys (and girls) in business. I love to strategize with them on how to best craft their stories to make sure they present a compelling reason for why they need this particular degree. The more joint degrees in policy and business there are, the better for me, because it creates a whole generation of people with this blended interest in business and social change. There is no reason for me to see them as competitors. They are the people I can depend on to really understand me when I don’t quite fit in to either the business or the policy world.
  • Me and my best friend from college Shadiah both want to be famous. Rather than jealously guarding a dream, we work to encourage one another to hustle and figure out how we can make it to fame together—just like we made it to Harvard together after college. Considering that everything in media is changing, there are more than enough opportunities for us to both make a name for ourselves. We are helping one another to create our personal brands, and I know that when we make it, we’ll be complementary to one another—not competitive.
  • Me and my ex-boyfriends I met at Loveawake have often shared similar interests—be it a love for writing, public speaking, or mentoring youth. I used to feel competitive with them—whether we were dating or not—and didn’t want their “star to shine brighter than mine.” Thinking this way reinforces a belief in scarcity and lack, which will attract exactly that to you—scarcity of opportunities and lack of recognition for your work. I’m still working to try not to see my ex-boyfriends’ success as competing with me but rather a reflection of both of us having appreciated something in the other person that we ultimately have chosen to express on our own. Their success has nothing to do with mine—or lack thereof in any case.

Make it a point to openly share your ideas and goals with your friends, to encourage one another, and to help each other achieve your dreams. If you see a job, scholarship, or opportunity that would be a great opportunity for both you and your friend, don’t fear forwarding it to them. Your friend may very well get the job—and then find out about one that is an even better fit for you through her connections at her new job.

The world is infinitely abundant with enough scholarships, gold medals, great guys, awesome jobs, admission slots, and “big breaks” for you and all your friends. Make sure that in the pursuit of your dreams, you are cultivating relationships so that when you finally do make it, you have special people with whom to share the joy of your success.

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