Look around. Hit up Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. It’s easy to feel like you’re not doing much. People who live interesting lives, meet fascinating people and do meaningful work have direct access to your eyeballs. Sometimes, they’re trying to inspire. Other times, they’re just boasting, feeding their ego. Showing you how great their life is. Couple this with all the advertising and standards that media pushes on us and it’s easy to feel average. Like you’re just okay looking. Like you’re just about fit enough. Like you’re kinda smart. Like your job is alright.
It’ll burst anyone’s balloon.
There’s a harsh reality to it though. For most of the things we do, we are average. Compared to the rest of the world. In one or two things, we might begin to elevate ourselves toward the higher percentiles of performance. But for the majority, average is the norm.
But here’s the thing. You can be average and not feel average. Let me explain. Whenever I hear average, I always ask, “compared to what?” Whether you’re average, awful or amazing depends upon the group you compare yourself to. So my thinking is this. If you don’t want to feel average, and most people don’t, there’s one thing you have to do. And it’s not easy.
Stop comparing yourself to everyone else.
I know. Without comparison you can’t have an accurate perception of your abilities. Comparison is useful. But only when directed towards self-improvement. It’s only advantageous when you use it to figure out where you’re weak, where you’re strong and how to improve. Comparison should not be your default mode. Otherwise your energy and spirit is going to get smacked down. Compare yourself infrequently. The rest of the time, measure yourself against your own standards.
If you’re trying to get stronger or drop some belly, the competition is with yourself. Not with everyone else in the gym. Your aim is to do better than yesterday. To do better than last week and last month. That’s it. That’s all you have to do. You don’t have to worry about what others are doing. You just have to handle yourself. Have an endpoint in mind, a standard you’re striving for, and then drive relentlessly for it.
Do better than yesterday. Every day. Do your best. Every day. And then, after you’ve been doing that, you’ll find you’re less average. You’ll find your trajectory is going to take you higher. But you only get there once you stop focusing on others. Once you start working on yourself, not your position in relation to those around you.
So stop watching what everyone else is doing and where they’re at. Set your own standards and make them high. Fix your gaze on them. Then do your best to move towards them everyday.
That’s enough isn’t it?