#MondayMotivation: Choose Your Stick Wisely - Dangerously Genocidal


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Monday, 1 May 2017

#MondayMotivation: Choose Your Stick Wisely

Greetings, dear Readers!

I'm not going to tell you where I got the idea for today's #MondayMotivation. We can just call it a special stroke of inspiration, and go with that. The message for today is this:

Choose Your Stick Wisely

You might be wondering what stick I'm referring to, and I don't blame you. But today's message is twofold, and the 'stick analogy' just fit so well that I couldn't pass it up.

I want you to think back to your childhood. It might not be the case for everyone, but I'm sure several of you have a memory of a point where your mother, father or preschool teacher had you stand up against a wall so that they could measure your height throughout your childhood. If you have memories about that little ritual, you might also remember your excitement at every little inch or centimeter that the wall said you grew. Sometimes it was slow going, but every little crawl upwards felt like a major accomplishment. Remember that feeling.

If you had siblings, some of you might even remember that you were either the taller or the shorter one. If you were taller, you were the one telling your sibling not to worry, that they'll get taller soon. If you were the shorter one - and had a nice sibling - you were the one being comforted and encouraged. Either way, all you wanted at the end of it - after the sense of accomplishment wore off - was to find a way to be a little taller the next time you were measured.

So what, you may ask, does this have to do with #MondayMotivation? Simple. Think about it; ever since that first time your measurements were taken, you've aspired to measure up better next time. Strange, isn't it, that the need to be better next time has never gone away? But here's what's changed:

By whose stick are you measuring yourself now?

Let that thought sink in. Back then it was all about beating yourself. Measuring up to your own standard, and then exceeding it. You were the one that set the bar, and beating that bar made you feel on top of the world. But whose bar do you measure yourself by now? A co-worker who drives a nicer car? The parent with two kids in college? The richest person or most famous person in the world?

Once, you were happiest by being your best self - so who do you need to be, now, to feel like you're succeeding?

The thing is, you don't see behind the scenes. The nice car might be in danger of being repossessed. The kids might be in a very strenuous scholarship program. That rich person might be living off more credit than you could imagine... You can't see the stress, the pain, the worry, or any of the other trials that person went through to appear as they do. So why are you trying to measure up to a bar you can neither see, nor control? Since when did it stop being enough to just measure up to your own goals - no matter how small the growth, or how slowly you reached it? Why is it that we measure our self-worth and accomplishment by the measuring stick of a complete stranger?

I'm not saying that you shouldn't aspire to reaching those heights. The smaller sibling might never be as tall as his brother or sister, but he'll also reach those higher bars eventually. Sometimes, he or she might even exceed them and become the taller one. But it takes time - and never does it stop being enough to just measure a little higher than before.

You can reach those high goals, too - but don't sacrifice yourself or your happiness to try and achieve it at the same pace or cost.
Don't Compare Yourself To Others
Remember I said the message was in two parts? Here's part two: when you do decide to aspire to the achievements of another person, and make their goals your own, choose carefully the stick you use. You are going to be using that stick to beat yourself with for an indeterminate amount of time - make sure it's not a stick that's going to leave you crippled and broken.

Instead of trying to be the best someone else today, I want you to try something different. Set your goals for the day, but set them to your own standard. If you want to be better than someone today, be a better you than you were yesterday, or last Monday. If you want to work harder, go to work early. If you want to be charitable, give five bucks to the guy at the traffic light. If you want to be successful, start with laying the steps that will lift you higher as you go.

You might not get as much done as the person who works sixteen hour days, or donate enough money to charity to get a building with your name on it. But when the day is over, don't think about those people. Think about yourself, and your own bar. Celebrate the inch you climbed, because it will send you soaring to the next inch.

Don't let those around you dictate your standards, goals and growth. Don't let them beat you with their sticks. Be the measurement they want to aspire too.

It's not going to be easy, and it won't always be fun or all 'good feelings'. But by looking in, you might just start seeing the things you are achieving, rather than what you're not. And, just maybe, you'll find that you measure up much better than you might have thought.

Until Next Week!


  1. Can't wait for the next Monday Inspiration. I'm Inspired to Inspire.


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