Achieving Success from Second Place

Perhaps we’re all born with an innate desire to win. To be the best at something— anything— so we can feel a sense of personal validation.

I spent a large part of my childhood in second place. Sure, I had a lot of talents, but I was rarely the best. Someone had a better test score or a faster mile time. A higher GPA or a longer list of philanthropic efforts. More boys lined up or birthday parties to attend.

Most people spend their life feeling second to someone. Don’t let that destroy you.

Writing was— and still is— my passion. I would spend hours with my 10-year-old-self drafting poems and dreaming up storylines. So, I was stubbornly disappointed when I placed second in a youth writing competition. That’s when my mom offered her advice (because that’s what mothers do).

“Most people spend their lives feeling second to someone,” she said. “Whether others seem wiser or wittier. Younger or prettier. Richer or stronger. Don’t let that destroy you. Not now. Not in 10 years. Not in 30 years. Keep writing.”

Indeed, comparisons destroy us and our talents. What separates the successful from the unsuccessful is one’s ability to continue progressing, even from outside the winner’s circle. Success isn’t defined by a first-place trophy, thousands of Instagram followers or by how many cleanses you’ve done. Success is defined by you. Keep moving. Keep working. Keep writing— from second place and every other place.

Check out another well written blog on this topic, at The Daily Love