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Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.

In an age of instant gratification, and social media highlight reels, and (seemingly) overnight success, I don’t think that there’s a more applicable chapter to our current existence. 


Have you ever found yourself with Facebook envy?  Or Instagram lust?  “Wow I wish I had a family like…a car like…a job like…6 pack abs like…”. It could go on and on, if we aren’t careful.   


Thus, perhaps the most important personal statement that we can make is determining how we define success and failure.  It is very easy to pick one singular quality (via social media or otherwise) that you envy in someone else; yet think of the wonderful uniqueness found in each one of us!  “When the internal critic puts you down…it selects a single, arbitrary domain of comparison…acts as if that domain is the only one that is relevant.  Then it contrasts you unfavorably with someone truly stellar, within that domain,”(Peterson, p.89).  The final hazardous step could then be viewing this construct as an “unbridgeable gap between you and its target of comparison as evidence for the fundamental injustice of life,” (Peterson, p. 89).  Aka victim mentality. 


Do you see how dangerous this can be?  We are picking one quality to focus on, not knowing anything else about that individual’s life!   


On the other hand,  I’m not saying to embrace a mindset of comparison for justification’s sake:  “Well, since Mr. Johnson CLEARLY spends so much time in the gym, I bet his family life isn’t anywhere near as good as mine…”. Au contraire.  What I AM arguing for is you vs. you.  It’s you learning WHO you are, owning responsibility for WHERE you are, and then taking the steps to fix what you don’t like.  That simple.    


The future is like the past.  But there’s a crucial difference.  The past is fixed, but the future-it could be better…called upon properly, the internal critic will suggest something to set in order, which you could set in order…voluntarily, without resentment, even with pleasure,” (Peterson, p. 94).  Maybe some initial areas of improvement come to mind, reading this, but what about larger, big-picture objectives?  


Dr. Peterson goes into great detail on how to take proper aim.  Goals, after all, are vital to our existence and it is possible to aim too high, too low, or even too chaotically, (Peterson, p. 93).   


Taking proper aim can therefore be trickybut don’t forget about how powerful momentum can be.  All of it can truly come down to one, continual conviction:  “By the end of the day, I want things in my life to be a tiny bit better than they were this morning, (Peterson, p. 95-96).  Dr. Jordan B. Peterson goes on to talk about a reward system, after said tasks are completed, as well as diving into psychology of taking proper aim (Seriously…phenomenal chapter) 

There is so much more to this chapter (and this book) that we have found so enlightening at Health 1st, and I invite you to read it with us, moving forward!  But before I let you go,  I do think that it’s important to address, Dr. Peterson’s biggest point (in the whole book, as well as this chapter) in order to prepare you for some personal reflection:   


  “Life doesn’t have the problem.  You do,” (Peterson, p. 99).   


Now, we have talked about ownership before, but the reason that our author and I are bringing it back up is for two reasons:   


  1. When positive momentum stalls, and you desire to give up- 
  1. Shirk the desire to blame your external circumstances.   
  1. Readdress your aim (‘Did you shoot too high/low?’).   
  1. Get back on the path.   


  1. Understand that we each look at the world in a very personalized manner.  We are, after all, a product of our thoughts and convictions.  Dr. Peterson’s reasoning for taking good, initial, personal inventory is because perhaps our habitual way of thinking is no longer applicable.  Or maybe certain thoughts were flat out wrong-or even lies.  Killing the unnecessary thoughts won’t be easy.  As the old saying goes, “old habits, die hard.”  But true liberty happens when we accept responsibility and the consequences that may ensue.   


I bring up Dr. Peterson’s points here, not to preach, but to encourage.  Spend some time this week reflecting at where you find yourself in your short time on this planet. Are you where you thought you would be 5, 10, 20 years ago?  Are your thought patterns and habits still servicing you well?  What habits would you like to change this week?  How is Brock on July 20th going to be better than Brock on July 19th?  Chime in and join us next week for Mindset Monday! 


-Brock Baumgarn, CA, Health 1st Chiropractic 



Peterson, J.B., Doidge, N., &Van, S.E. (20180.  12 rules for life:  An antidote to chaos. 

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