In reading Jordan Peterson’s book Twelve Rules for Life I was struck by his fourth rule:
“Compare yourself to who YOU were yesterday, not to who someone ELSE is today”.
In my work in solar sales I visit beautiful homes all the time, and many homes are clearly much more expensive than the humble home I reside in. Most of my clients are married, and when I run their credit and ask them their household income sometime I’m shocked by the number… especially those folks who are earning over $400,000 per year as a couple!
What you don’t know is how much debt other folks are holding, you might see a neighbor driving a new Mercedes but they won’t tell you about their $700 per month lease payment. The same goes for that gorgeous million dollar home that’s propped up with a $950,000 mortgage balance!
We compare ourselves to others on social media as well, when folks post pics of cars and vacations… and then I look out my window at my humble little 2013 Chevy Volt…
But when I compare myself today to where I was a year ago a very different picture emerges. That Chevy in my driveway is PAID OFF today, but still had a loan balance one year ago… my solar team was just getting started a year ago… my income this past month was far higher than January one year ago…
My house is far closer to being paid off today compared to my mortgage balance one year ago. By comparing my 2019 self to my 2018 self I have a clear idea where I’m headed. Both guys are still single, but the 2019 version is more confident, more comfortable with dating, etc.
This concept of comparing one’s present self to past self is very useful in detecting decline as well. Do you weigh more today than you did before? Do you have more debt? Is your income lower today than it used to be? Is your health declining from lack of activity?
I was unhappy with my body weight after Christmas and started fasting 16 to 20 hours each day. Here I am about five weeks later and I’m a little thinner and feel better already. I know that I merely have to stay on track to hit my target weight of 175 pounds and then STAY at that weight.
Look at where you are today and compare yourself to where you were a month ago, a year ago, maybe even five years ago. If there is something you’re not happy about take action now, today.
February 4rth, 2019