Character Creates Opportunity® – The Silent Temptation: May 28, 2015

Our world is full of temptations.  The temptations of fame, fortune, and friends with benefits are all around us.  In addition, there is a world of temptations to relieve the pain of physical ailments, the emotional trauma of relationship struggles, and the anxiety developed out of today’s hyper-stressed environment to have it all.

Many of these temptations and the individuals who get overwhelmed by them are well documented in the media or in kitchen table conversations in our homes.

However, the most damaging temptation is the one we keep to ourselves.  The silent temptation that is the genesis of so much heartache, pain, and personal struggle is the temptation to compare ourselves to others.  In our own silent world of comparing ourselves to others, we lose our own identity.  Over time, we struggle to find direction and we often miss our true purpose and passion to reach our full potential.

As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, it is important that we address what can be called the greatest temptation we will face, the silent temptation to compare ourselves to others.

Despite how many billions of people inhabit the earth, there is none like you or me.  Whether we believe in the scientific rationale, a faith in an all-mighty God, or both, there is no denying the fact that we are uniquely created.  There are no two people in this world that are the same.

It is not just physical differences, but our experiences and how we see the world as a result of those experiences, which makes us unique as individuals.  A practical example is to look at individuals growing up in the same household who experienced many of the same things.  There is often some major differences in the points of view between the first born, a middle child, and the youngest.

There is no value in making a judgment of better or worse about these experiences and points of view.  There is tremendous value in acknowledging and valuing our own individual differences and the differences of those around us.

When we give in to the silent temptation of comparing ourselves to others, we begin to diminish the strength of our uniqueness.

  • When we silently judge our self-worth based on a relative scale of those around us, we diminish the strength of our uniqueness.
  • When we silently rate our home-life based on what we see in the homes of others, we diminish the strength our unique family environment.
  • When we silently assess our career based on others, we diminish the strength our unique learning journey.

Our greatest risk in this world is that we fall short of our potential.  Becoming overwhelmed with the temptation to compare ourselves to others is the gateway to a life that falls short of our potential.Jon walking off football field

When we give in to the silent temptation to compare ourselves to others, we chase a moving target as opposed to remaining fixed on reaching our own unique potential.  We would be much more effective in setting a bar high based on our own individual goals and then working hard to achieve our full potential.

As we continue to exercise the discipline to “be me and not you,” we build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity® for us to reach our full potential.

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