81 pushups today. 30 pullups tomorrow. Not very impressive when compared to many other people. That’s the problem with comparing yourself to other people, it’s depressing. It seems to lead to a number of bad outcomes, it can breed resentment, or jealousy, or self-loathing. Not good. On the other end, it can lead to arrogance, or guilt, or complacence, or sycophantic worship, or pedestal placing. None of these are good either. So there seems to be many pitfalls associated with this habit of mind..
But, fortunately, I have learned two rules that when combined provide a great alternative: 1) The key to real progress is incremental improvement, and 2) do not compare myself to other people, but to who I was yesterday. By this calculus, my current level of performance begins to look pretty good, I can derive a pretty good feeling. Following these two rules can become a habit of mind, just as comparing myself to others. Habits of mind define experience.
How we choose to view things makes all the difference. What otherwise would depress me, or lead me to fall into the pit, can just as easily sustain me or provide motivation and gratification. Weird. Life really is a mind game sometimes.
Pursue incremental improvement and compare yourself only to who you were yesterday. Following these two simple rules and enjoy the positive outcomes. They lead you to actual practical repeatable respectable improvement and growth. They lead to self-discipline, self-respect. All good stuff! All things we want more of.
Ben Wagner (63)
Member 365 Commitment