Rule 4 / Compare yourself to who you were yesterday not to who someone else is today
Peterson discusses the futility of comparing ourselves to others as there will always be someone better, stronger, more intelligent, more beautiful or wealthier than we are. Furthermore, just because these people appear to be better off than we are, their internal critics are probably telling them they aren’t good enough either. Therefore, we wouldn’t feel better about ourselves if we had their life. Instead, Peterson encourages us, to pay attention to our environment and ask ourselves, what is bothering us and what are we willing and able to fix? He suggests we continue this process until we find one thing, even if it’s a minutely small thing, that we are willing and able to fix. By continuing this process every day, we improve our lives and ourselves. In time, as we look back on our lives, we will be encouraged by the improvement we see in our own lives and we will be less concerned about the lives of others.
I’m left wondering where we find the motivation to find something every day to improve upon?
From a Christian perspective, we’re instructed not to compare ourselves with others (Galatians 6:4). We’re part of Christ’s body where everyone has a part to play. Though we play different parts everyone is important (1 Corinthians 12:14-27). Furthermore, God is also interested in our continuous improvement and tells us that as we grow in our Christian faith, we’re becoming more and more like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18). So we can look back on our lives and see that we have grown away from harmful behaviours and have adopted more positive attitudes.
My take on Peterson’s 5th Rule of Life will be in two weeks time.
Click for: Peterson’s 3rd Rule for Life