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It’s easy to see someone else’s accomplishments and feel disconnected or alienated from them. You may see someone wealthy, successful, ambitious, perhaps with a beautiful house, the perfect relationship, and oh so many adventures and achievements in their life. Seeing these things (or imagining them, which is often the case) might give you a sense of separation, envy, and fear of being judged for not being “there” yourself yet.

But what defines our subjective experience is rarely our accomplishments – though we maybe celebrate them for a brief moment – but rather our struggles, ambitions, and our goals moving forward.

They shape our current experience of the path we walk in life, are the cause of our anxiety and worries. We think about them on a day-to-day basis, they may keep us up at night, and we crave to talk about them with the people we trust.

Naturally, someone’s journey in life so far has shaped their identity and reality. But if you truly want to relate to another person, you need to look at what they are trying to achieve moving forward.

And then it may turn out that we’re really not all that different. We all essentially strive for freedom, freedom from fear, and for love. Some in more straight forward and healthy ways than others.

So perhaps in that striving we can all relate, uplift, and inspire ach other.

I’m writing this as much as a reminder for myself as hopefully inspiration for others. I too have been guilty of failing to connect with people who I thought were way too successful and accomplished to even bother with me. Ironically, I also often actively seek out these kinds of people precisely because their presence in my life will draw me closer to my own goals.

Ask:

  • What is the other person feeling on their current path?
  • What are they trying to accomplish? What are their goals?
  • Where are they coming from? What was their journey so far, why are they striving for certain outcomes?
  • What drives them – what pain, what ambition?
  • What does their goal, their struggle mean to them?

Be curious and inquisitive about their journey, their emotions, fears, beliefs, hopes – and of course your own.