I went to school with three talented sisters, Joanne (Joe) , Jane , and Jennifer . They dreamed of being in show business one day. After all, their father was a fairly successful artists and their mother was a former ballet dancer/singer turned teacher. So they had inherited raw talent from their parents .
Starting from a very young age, they participated in talent competitions and beauty contest. They were very loving and encouraging to each other. They could often be found giving each other words of encouragement, assisting with wardrobe selection and styling each other’s hair. As they grew older, words of encouragement were replaced with deceitful tongue lashings and secret acts of sabotage. Especially when they were competing for the same roles.
In one instance, Jennifer placed a diuretic in Joe’s lunch right before a big audition. This made Joe very sick and she missed the audition . Jen and Jane made the audition, but neither got the part. These attempts to “out do” one another went on for several years. During this time frame, neither young lady was very successful at getting gigs.
Finally, Jane decided that she had had enough. She realized that she had wasted time and energy trying to keep up with and “out do” her sisters. This was time she could have used to study lines, practice singing, write poetry or whatever. Time she could never get back. However, she could make a positive change going forward.
Jane refocused her energy. Instead of competing with her sisters, she concentrated on being the best Jane she could be. If she could not afford the new trendy purse, she did not buy it. If she had an audition, she skipped the celebrity party the night before. She found herself with more money, time and freedom than she’d ever had.
Now I wish I could say Jane became some big name movie star that you would recognize, but that is not the case. She did, however, create a steady career doing what she loves. It wasn’t always perfect. She would occasionally slip back into “out do” mode temporarily. And her sisters were right there to…uh um…encourage her. Through mistakes and victories, she would always find her way back.
As For Joe and Jen, they are still partying, competing and more focused on trying to “out do” one another rather than do (the best) and be (the best) Joe and Jen they can be.
So let’s stop trying to “out do” each other and just “do” the best that we can in life.