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Stop trying to be number 1

Improving Systems and Habits

Scott Miker is the author of several books that describe how to use systems and habits to improve.  This free blog provides articles that to help understand the principles related to building systems.  

Stop trying to be number 1

Scott Miker

We want to succeed. We want to be better than anyone else. For some reason we all have this internal desire. This causes us to want to strive to be the best.

When we say we want to be the best, we aren’t just saying the best version of our self. We want to be the best, compared to everyone else.

There is an internal drive to compare us against others. We all do it. We look at someone who is happier and want that happiness. We see someone with money and want more money. We see someone with a great relationship and want a better one.

But constantly comparing to everyone has consequences. One of the biggest consequences is that we, too often, go with an all or nothing mindset. We want to be number 1. So we strive to be perfect.

But perfection is the enemy of progress. If we want to improve, we have to become horribly imperfect. We have to realize that we are not perfect. We are far from it.

This allows us to stop making perfection the goal. The goal shouldn’t be to be number 1 initially, it should simply be to be a better version of our self.

If we can shift this mindset you would think that we lose our competitive nature and will simply give up trying to get better. But the opposite often happens.

Instead of having a mountain in front of us, we have an uphill path. We can tackle that. We can take a few steps and then a few more and then a few more. We can start the ascent without feeling as though we are a failure the entire time because things aren’t perfect.

One of the biggest things that I have to instill in people who I work to help improve is to get rid of this strictness to perfection. Instead of not exploring something new for fear of failure, realize that the exploration will likely lead to enlightenment. It will lead to a better version of you, even if you find that the scale is different than you imagined.

Once you break away from the strict adherence to trying to be perfect, you will then start to do the work necessary to improve. Change your focus over to progress. Track your progress.

In essence, what you are doing is changing from comparing to others to comparing to one’s self. You compare the present day you to the former you. This allows you to go through life constantly improving and working to get better.

Before you say you want to be number one, learn how to simply improve yourself compared to yesterday. Make each day a journey to improve and get better. This will take you much further and provide significantly more success than simply wanting to be better than everyone else and be number 1.