WE ALL WANT TO SUCCEED IN LIFE, WHETHER IN OUR PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL PURSUITS. However, the path to success can be challenging, and getting caught up in comparing ourselves to others is easy. While striving to be the best is a noble goal, it’s important to remember that it’s not the only measure of success. Focusing on being better than you were yesterday can be a more sustainable and fulfilling approach. Let’s explore this concept further.
The Problem with Being the Best
When we focus solely on being the best, we can fall into several traps that can hinder our progress and lead to disappointment.
1. It’s a Moving Target
Being the best is a constantly shifting goalpost. Somebody else will always be superior to you in some respect. Even if you achieve a level of success, you’ll likely be able to maintain it for a while. This can create a sense of pressure and anxiety that can be overwhelming.
2. It’s Not Always Within Your Control
Achieving success is only sometimes within our control. External factors like luck, timing, and circumstances can significantly determine our outcomes. Suppose we focus solely on being the best. In that case, we can overlook the effort and progress we’ve made, even if we haven’t achieved the desired result.
3. It Can Be Demotivating
When you only care about being the best, it can be hard to keep going, especially if you’re making less progress than you’d like. It’s easy to become discouraged when you constantly compare yourself to others and feel like you’re not measuring up.
“Be better than you were yesterday” is a philosophy many successful people and businesses have used. Here are just a few:
1. Michael Jordan
In basketball history, Michael Jordan is up there with the all-time greats. However, he wasn’t born with natural talent. He spent a lot of time perfecting his skills, which gave him a reputation for being hardworking. His dedication to being better than he was the day before led to six NBA championships and numerous records.
Google is one of the world’s most successful companies, but it wasn’t always that way. Initially, the company concentrated on improving its search engine algorithms and user experience daily. Google’s dedication to improving all the time led to the creation of its world-class search engine and many other successful products.
3. J.K. Rowling
Regarding book sales, J.K. Rowling ranks among the top authors. Still, she faced numerous rejections before the Harry Potter series was published. Rather than giving up, Rowling used each rejection as an opportunity to improve her writing and storytelling skills. Her commitment to being better than she was yesterday eventually led to the creation of one of the most beloved book series ever.
The Benefits of Being Better than You Were Yesterday
Instead of being the best, consider focusing on being better than you were yesterday. Here are a few reasons why this approach can be more beneficial:
1. It’s a Personal Goal
Improving oneself by being brighter than the day before is a goal that can be reached. You don’t need to compare yourself to others or worry about external factors. Instead, you can focus on your progress and development.
2. It’s Sustainable
Sustainable achievement requires the constant pursuit of improvement over time. It’s a goal you can work towards every day, and it’s not dependent on achieving a specific outcome. You can still feel like you made progress and accomplished something, even if you don’t get the result you were hoping for.
3. It’s Motivating
Focusing on being better than you were yesterday can be motivating. It allows you to celebrate your progress and feel a sense of accomplishment, even if you still need to achieve your ultimate goal. It can also help you focus on the process rather than the outcome.
How to Focus on Being Better than You Were Yesterday
If you’re ready to shift your focus from being the best to be better than you were yesterday, here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Set Small, Achievable Goals
Instead of setting a lofty, long-term goal, break it down into smaller, more achievable goals. Keep your sights on the small wins along the way rather than letting yourself get overwhelmed by the overall destination.
2. Track Your Progress
Tracking your progress can help you stay motivated and celebrate your successes. You can use a journal, an app, or a simple spreadsheet to track your progress toward your goals.
3. Embrace Failure
To learn, you must first experience Failure. Don’t let setbacks discourage you; view them as educational opportunities. Use your failures as feedback to adjust your approach and keep moving forward.
4. Focus on the process
Getting caught up in the outcome is easy when working towards a goal. However, the process of getting there is just as necessary. Focus on the daily habits and actions leading to your desired outcome. Focusing on the process will make you more likely to stay motivated and enjoy the journey.
5. Celebrate Your Wins
Remember to celebrate your wins, no matter how small they may seem. Take the time to acknowledge and appreciate your hard work. Celebrating your progress can help you stay motivated and create a sense of momentum.
6. Be Kind to Yourself
Remember to be kind to yourself. Self-criticism and negative self-talk can be demotivating and hinder your progress. Instead, practice self-compassion and focus on your strengths and progress.
7. Surround Yourself with Positive Influences
To stay motivated and inspired, you need a positive attitude and to be around people who support you. Seek out mentors, coaches, and friends who are supportive and encouraging. Joining a community or group of like-minded individuals can also provide accountability and support.
Being the best is a lofty goal that can be demotivating and unsustainable. Focusing on being better than you were yesterday is a more personal, sustainable, and fulfilling approach to success. Remember to set goals you can reach, keep track of your progress, celebrate your wins, and hang out with positive people. With dedication and commitment, you can achieve your desired outcomes while enjoying the journey.