Making yourself better than you were the day prior is paramount.
I used to not think this way.
I used to get carried off in day dreams. I used to wish and hope that I was going to be someone or something. I never put in the actual work that it takes to achieve something worthwhile in life.
When I was in my late teens, perhaps this sentiment worked. Hell, what responsibility did I really have?
That perspective carried me into my twenties.
Before I knew it, I was out of shape. I was smoking cigarettes regularly. I was drinking heavily. I was experimenting with drugs. I was in a toxic relationship. I was working at a job I didn’t enjoy. I was arguing with everyone over futile topics.
Years of this hopeful thinking had dragged me deep into a hole.
In my mid twenties I experienced a moment that altered my perception on life. The building I was working at caught fire and burned to the ground.
I realized that I could lose everything working at a job I despised in the blink of an eye. Why shouldn’t I take on responsibility and try at something that is meaningful and fulfilling?
I write everyday. I love writing. It helps me make sense of the world and my place in it. I’m literally having a conversation with myself whenever I practice the craft.
I also experience a battle with myself everyday.
When I wake up in the morning, I look at my clock. I see whatever time it may be (generally 8am seeing as that’s when my alarm sounds).
The next thought after seeing the time is an image of a “Better Jon.” I immediately see a more ideal self.
- That Jon is more handsome than me.
- That Jon is more successful than me.
- That Jon is in a better romantic relationship than me.
- That Jon is funnier than me.
- That Jon is more intellectual than me.
He is always one step ahead of me in my life.
What motivates me to be a better individual than what I was the day before is simply racing against this “Better Jon.”
Everyday when I wake up, a gun is fired and “Better Jon” and I start our race.
Somedays I’m playing catch up.
Somedays I get the jump on him.
I like to think everyday, that Jon had a better start overall in life. He never experienced the building burning down. He never got cheated on by past lovers. Hell, he’s already a Best Selling Author.
My job is to wear the “Under Dog” hat and beat him at his own game. I honestly could give two shits about what anyone else thinks about the decisions I make- as long as I’m beating him.
It’s an internal competition for sure.
I have completely defined and made “Better Jon” real. I know every contour of his body. I know his smile. I know how he interacts with and moves a crowd. I know his relentless work ethic.
And I know I must defeat him.
Only then, can I be better everyday. Only then can I achieve the goals and the dreams and the quests in my head.
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