Stop comparing, Start Loving

A couple of months ago I mentioned a trip to Laguna Beach with several forward thinking, open hearted, inspirational people.  50 of them to be exact.  It was such an incredible time and space for connecting with humanity, conversing about social and theological dynamics, and exploring futurist topics and trends. The people that showed up there were highly intellectual and creatively charged folks.  Or as we say in Boston, “these peeps are wicked smaht”.  I remember spending most of my time dealing with a running inner dialogue.  That guy is so much smarter than me.  That girl is so much more creative than me.  He writes so much better than I do.  She is such a better orator than I am.  I’m not as wealthy as that guy.  She is such a better organizational person than I am.  He is so much more deep than me.  And on and on.  My inner dialogue quickly lead me to one conclusion… “I don’t belong with these people.”  Fortunately the love I felt from them destroyed that conclusion.

You know this inner dialogue don’t you?  I wish I was as good looking as that guy.  I wish my body was as toned and petite as hers.  I wish my bank account looked like theirs.  I could never be as smart as them.  I wasn’t blessed with his charm.  This inner dialogue is one of the most ungrateful and limiting dialogues you can participate in.  These kind of negative, limiting beliefs can send us into a holding pattern for months, years, even decades.  If we don’t process our way out of it, we will literally never grow past it.

But during one of our sessions, our leader made a profound statement.  He said… “Who you aren’t, isn’t interesting”.  No one is interested in hearing about who I am not.  So why would I be interested in it?  I decided right then that of critical importance to my growth was to stop listening to this inner dialogue.  How did I do that?  It’s taken some time.  I’ve read many books.  I’ve noticed right away when that dialogue starts and try to identify the triggers that cause it.  Then I stop listening.  But one more thing has worked extremely well for me.  I’d like to share that with you.

I’ve stayed in contact with those remarkable people and I just spent the last few days in Denver with them.  We’ve conversed together, eaten together, laughed together,  opened our hearts to each other, listened to each other, cried together, and had our minds blown apart by some pretty heavy conversations and ideas.  We’ve welcomed some new people into our family and we’ve loved together.  And not one time did I even hear the beginning of that inner dialogue.  Not one time did I begin to think that I wasn’t smart enough, creative enough, interesting enough,  __________ enough, or that I didn't belong.

Do you know why? First, many months ago I decided that I wanted to rid myself of that inner dialogue and limiting beliefs and I sought out how to do that.  Secondly, and more powerfully, I was too busy loving with these people.  I literally shared and received so much love over the last few days that I had no room for comparing myself to them.  Or comparing myself with anyone for that matter.  The love came in all forms.  Particularly being transferred through all the ways I spoke of in the previous paragraph.

I am convinced that love is saving the world and will continue to.  That’s a whole other post.  But for now I am glad to say that love has saved me.  Love for myself to decide to make changes, Love for the people that I spent my time with, and Love from those people who aren’t looking to get anything out of me.  They just are loving people.  I type these words with tears in my eyes because of the great depths that love has moved me.

Are you constantly comparing yourself to others?  Are you way to interested in who you aren’t?  When was the last time you stopped and were grateful for who you are?  You are a wonderful, unique, inspirational person.  You are filled with so much of the Divine that you can change the world.  You can Love.  Get loving.

How being Present changes the World

The other day I had a random conversation with someone that turned pretty deep rather quickly.  It was one of those bump into each other kind of instances where a passing ‘hello, how are you’ would have sufficed, but the person stopped and began a longer conversation.  And it wasn’t just that they felt like chatting.  I could tell this person legitimately cared about connecting with me and wanted to know how things in life were.  I walked away from that brief encounter feeling changed.  But why?  Was it something they said?  I didn’t remember words particularly insightful being spoken.  But the whole time we were talking I felt good… no, I felt great.  I felt fulfilled and I felt cared for and those things matter to me.  It was completely unexpected.  I thought about that conversation for quite some time.  And then it dawned on me… that person was 100% present with me the entire time we were talking.  They looked me in the eyes.  They never checked their phone.  They never tried to speed things up or exit the conversation.  They were just giving me their full attention. That is so powerful.  My day literally was better from that point on.  The remarkable thing about this gift is that it goes both ways.  Because that person was completely present, not allowing anything else to hijack the moment, they are better for it as well.

Can you imagine living a life where you are constantly focused on the thing your doing or the person you’re with?  Can you imagine taking an afternoon for yourself and instead of getting caught up in the next ‘pressing’ thing, you actually enjoyed yourself?  If this is a difficult thing to imagine, then it just might be what your heart and soul needs.

This isn’t something I can write with great experience about because I’m only learning to be dialed in myself.  Recently I had the opportunity to meet with one of my mentors.  This man is a giant in my line of work and someone I’ve looked up to for such a long time.  Do you know what I recognized was different about him when we were talking?  It wasn’t that he is insanely brilliant or charismatic.  It was that the entire time we were sharing, he was present and in the moment.  I’m not the smartest guy.  In fact I’m not the one millionth guy down the list of smart people.  And I’m not too charismatic either.  But one thing I can do is make the choice to be present in my life.

This is a gift that I can give to others and that I can also give to myself.  Being in the moment not only lets others know that I care and that I am offering value to them, but it also tells me that I care and that I have value to give.  For the sake of brevity I won’t go into detail about all the ways that we aren’t present or ‘alive’ in each moment.  You already know the ways in which you ‘escape’ throughout the day.  But what if it wasn’t about escaping?  What would it look like for you to decide that for the rest of the moments of the day you were going to be present in them?  What are ways you can be even more present than you already are?  If you have some thoughts on this I’d love to hear them.  I really would.


Today I will be entirely present in my life.  I won't settle for escaping when the urge to distract myself from the present moment arises.  I will add value to the world and to my own life, simply by facing everything that comes my way with my full attention.  This will foster a deeper connection with myself, my God, my purpose, and others.