3 Reasons To Avoid The Comparison Trap

Not long ago I was attending a conference at a large hotel. I got up early to use the treadmill in the hotel fitness center. While on my morning run and no one else there, I began to think how disciplined I was. I mean come on, the hotel had hundreds of guests and I was the only one who had enough discipline to hit the gym early in the morning. I put on my best superiority complex. 

A few minutes later, someone about 25 years younger starting running on the treadmill next to me. And I mean running. I was a tortoise compared to the hare. My self-esteem quickly swung to the other end of the spectrum. My thoughts turned to how slow and out of shape I was next to Mr. Young, Fit and In Shape.

Comparing ourselves to others is always a losing game. Either we think we are better than others or never good enough. Both are unhealthy and untrue.

God made you unique and your best strategy is to be the very best you that you can be.

Here are three reasons to focus on being your best.

1. You focus on what you can control. Being overly concerned about others is a waste of time. You can’t control others. 

“I decided to resign myself from the position of general manager of the universe.” -Jeff Gitomer  

2. You become less critical of others.  Time invested in improving yourself cuts down on time wasted in disapproving of others. 

3. You simplify your life. Concentrate on pleasing God and being all He created you to be. Life is much better and simpler living for an audience of One.

Make Each Day A Masterpiece

“Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance but to do what lies clearly at hand.” - Thomas Carlyle

John Wooden is a true legend and a hero of mine. As coach of the UCLA basketball program, his team won an incredible 10 NCAA Championships in 12 years during the 1960s and 1970s. He was named Coach of the Century by ESPN.

What is amazing about John Wooden is that he never spoke to his team about winning. Not at the beginning of the season. Not at halftime of a game. Never.

Wooden always spoke to his players about doing their best in the moment. His practice sessions were legendary for being planned down to the minute. (His practice notes can be seen in his book Wooden on Leadership.) He thought if his team did its best everyday, winning would take care of itself.

Here are three reasons to focus on doing your very best today:

1. It kicks procrastination’s butt. 

If you have a goal in the distance, it is easy to put things off. Let’s say you have a goal of losing 10 pounds in six weeks, it is easy to slack off today because you still have time ‘tomorrow.’ As someone once said, “Tomorrow is always the busiest day of the week.” 

2. It gives you joy in the journey, not just the destination. 

I recently started my own business. I believe it will be a success, but I want to find fulfillment and delight now–as I build it–not just when I have reached all my business goals.

3. It focuses you on what you can control. 

Instead of worrying about competing with others, you concentrate on being the best you can be. Contrary to popular practice, John Wooden never scouted his opponents. He concentrated on getting his players in such good shape that towards the end of the game, they would run the other team off the floor. Wooden and his team could not control their opponents, but they could control themselves. 

When I started my business a few months ago, my daughter, Olivia, gave me a paperweight for my desk that reads “If you do little things well, you’ll do big ones better.” 

Think big and bold, but start small and specific. Start today. Start now. I am not against goal-setting. It is important to step into the future with purpose and direction, but there is something to be said for focusing on the here and now.

Tom Peters has a wonderful ebook titled, Excellence Now, in which he describes a simple concept that I love: “Excellence is the next 5 minutes.” Do your best in the next 5 minutes. Then the next 5 minutes. And so on.

So determine to win the day. If you do, you just might win championships.

3 Reasons To Knock Out Your Workout Early

Over the past several years I have experimented with going to the gym at different times of the day. I always gravitate back to working out first thing in the morning.

Although all of us have different schedules and internal clocks, here are three advantages to working out early in the morning.

1. It gives you an early win. 

How you begin the day sets the tone for the remainder of the day. A strong start increases the prospect for a strong day. Working out early increases your likelihood to eat healthier. It also boosts your concentration and energy levels.

2. It mentally frees you from deciding whether to work out or not. 

Once the day gets started it easy for your mind to debate about whether or not to workout at all that day. Many people start out with good intentions but later in the day something often comes up. It’s easy to find reasons to skip the workout. In addition, research indicates that your willpower diminishes during the course of the day.

3. It’s practical. 

When you workout early in the morning, the traffic is usually better, the gym is less crowded and you need to take only one shower.

Keep in mind your body is the vehicle which enables you to work well, enjoy relationships and live a strong life.