Do you spend too much time thinking about other people’s lives?

Are you the sort of person who finds themself looking at social media or talking about a friend, colleague, or peer, and saying things like, “Why are they doing that?” 

“Why are they wearing that?” 

“Why would that be the choice they made in that situation?” 

You don’t need to be embarrassed. We all find ourselves in situations like this. It’s human. 

But here are three really important things to remind yourself of when you find yourself too focused on the choices of others.

You’re wasting time

It’s really easy to get hung up on the things that don’t matter, and let me tell you… when you’re hung up on the decisions and habits and accomplishments of others, you’re focused on things that don’t really matter. 

Furthermore, you’re just wasting your time. Time is one of the most valuable resources we have, and you’re squandering it by focusing on what other people are doing. If you’re going to focus on what they’re doing, try to learn HOW they’re doing something and make it better. 

Instead of wasting your time focusing on what they’re doing, focus on what you can achieve in your own business and in your own life instead.

You’re not criticizing them — you’re criticizing you

Here’s another important thing to remember when you’re too focused on the actions of others: Ultimately, you see something in that person that is a reflection of yourself, and it’s something that you don’t like to see. 

It’s a reflection of you and your actions, and it’s triggering you. Of course, it’s way easier to criticize others than it is to evaluate ourselves, so that’s what we tend to do. 

But you’re stronger than that, aren’t you? You have a higher level of leadership within yourself, right?

Be real with yourself. Be real about your goals. 

Focus on the things that you want to achieve, and create a plan of action to make those goals a reality. Everything you want is possible, but your dreams will never become a reality as long as you are distracted by the lives of others. 

You’re not being your best self

You’re not really being a great friend, family member, or colleague if you’re spending so much time thinking and talking about their lives, are you? 

In fact, you just might be contributing to a culture of toxicity if you’re spending time talking about someone vs. talking to someone. If you’re not willing to do that, then you’re pretty clearly not focused on these things for the right reasons. 

To be perfectly clear, I’m not suggesting that you need to lead some sort of kumbaya-driven existence. 

If you’re creating strategies to outpace your competition, providing your team members with the constructive, actionable feedback they need to be better employees, and pushing yourself forward in an effort to be the best you can possibly be, then those are tangible ways in which you can achieve your goals. 

But if you’re just sniping about others, well, then you’re just being petty, aren’t you?

You need to take radical responsibility

At the end of the day, only you can take responsibility for your actions. 

If you have big dreams, then you need to turn them into big goals, and then you need to turn those big goals into smaller, incremental, more achievable goals. 

Develop good work habits, plot your days intentionally, and when you choose to focus on the lives and actions of others, it should be in an effort to learn from them, not to knock them down. 

In every aspect of life, there are things that you can learn, and you have the choice to either learn from everything around you, or to create friction in your life by being resistant to those lessons. 

The best leaders and the most successful people you’ll ever encounter are those who choose to live with that sense of openness, knowing that there are always ways in which they can learn, grow, and be better. This is the sort of mindset that has led me to great success, and the same can be true for you. 

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