13/9/2021 – Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not someone is today

There is a double edged feeling of being a beginner. On one hand it is difficult at the beginning and a sense of inadequency is abdundant but on the other hand, everything is possible because there are no prior rules when you are a beginner.

We don’t start at the same position and we learn at different rates

Talent is an interesting concept. People always say, focus on your strengths and forget about your weaknesses but why? If you take any activity; running, learning an instrument, cooking etc. There are units of improvement you go through from beginner to intermediate to expert. Talent allows you to move from each micro stage quicker and to learn more per unit of improvement than the average person. That is where the term ‘you’re a natural’ comes from where it seems like the person is behavhiour as if they were already well-versed in whatever you’re doing. You will be good at times and others will be good at things, there isn’t anything wrong with that.

Takeaway: You shouldn’t compare you’re to others because everyone is good at different things. They might’ve started earlier, are more naturally gifted, or have done something similar (experience) than you. It isn’t an accurate measure of your skill. ‘If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, you’ll always think its an idiot’ – Albert Einstein.

Focus and literally putting one step in front of the other

I’ve recently started running and I run in short sprints where I pick a tree to aim for, put my head down and start running. Its strange, when I don’t perceive the distance between the goal and where I am, I just put one foot in front of the other (literally) and look up every so often to check progress and BAM I arrive at the tree. A similar concept can be used in other domains where instead of focusing on the goals, focusing on the whatever you consider as a ‘step’ and you’ll get there eventually. Examples might be: reading 1 page, writing 1 sentence, etc.

Who you were yesterday is the only accurate measure of progress.

Social media is everyone well curated platform of people’s highlights. It isn’t their everyday lifestyles. Due to habits that default to scrolling, we create a meta-environment where it seems like everyone is doing better than you. What you don’t see what goes into creating those fronts or images. People are in debt, have health conditions, layers and layers of filters and editting. It isn’t a fair comparison where you look at your whole life and compare it to only good parts of so many others.

Takeaway: if you want an accurate picture of progress, compare how you are today with who you were yesterday, last month, last year. If you are further along than they are, you’re doing great!

Richard

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