On improving instead of comparing

All too often I get caught up in judging others, and comparing myself favorably or otherwise to other people of all sorts. Random people I see on the street, colleagues at work who are either younger or older, and who have different backgrounds, ideas, values and priorities than I do.

Sometimes I catch myself in the act and I manage to pull myself back to reality, because the truth of the matter is that there are zillion different reasons why I am the way I am, and the same goes for everyone else. Comparing myself to others is the most fruitless waste of time, this side of trying to travel back in time and correct my faults and misdeeds (something I wish I could have done on more than one occasion) – the point is, that I am me and you are you.

The only exercise we can benefit from is comparing ourselves to our former selves. If I am better than I was yesterday, then it was a good day. Likewise if you can go to bed a tiny bit smarter, wiser, more informed, better read or in better shape than you were yesterday, then that’s a win. It doesn’t matter what the Jones’s on the other side of the street – or more realistically in the apartment next door – are doing or thinking or how skinny they are. They have their own challenges that they’re dealing with – you deal with yours. You improve yourself a little each day. Just one tiny flicker of a percent. Barely enough for it to register – that’s enough for you to make tremendous progress over the long term.

But you have to focus on making one small improvement at a time. Focus on getting a tiny bit better today than you were yesterday, and I guarantee that great things will happen for you over time.

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