Compare Yourself Today to Who You were Yesterday

By | October 28, 2022

[October 28, 2022]  There are always people out there who are doing far better than you on pretty much anything you want to imagine.  That came home to me during my U.S. Army training, the first day of taking a physical fitness test.  I ran a two-mile course and finished in under 11 minutes (which is an excellent time).  Several officers finished so far ahead of me that I couldn’t see them.  I was in top physical shape, but they were so much better that it was hard for me to imagine how much.

If you are seeing yourself in the reflected light of others, then it will be pretty dismal for you.  In reality, it’s not a good comparison because there are risks in just comparing yourself to others, period, because they are not you and who knows what struggles they had to undertake to get to where they were or what burdens they’re currently carrying that you are not aware of.

You can certainly contrast yourself with yourself.  That’s a lot better.  That is the only way of really measuring anything approximating proper improvement.  You can actually tell when you’re a little better than you were yesterday.  You can do that and what is so interesting about it is you can actually make yourself a little better in some way pretty much all the time.

Be sure you are careful who you share good news with because you want to share good news with people who will be genuinely happy for you.  Also, be careful who you share bad news with because that’s equally tricky.  You want someone who will listen to you when you’re having trouble and allow your grief.  Beauty calls people to their higher being, and to make friends with beauty is to introduce yourself very carefully to one of the mysteries of life that make it worth living.

There’s never been a better time for the majority of people to be alive and in the future.  Although we are vulnerable and terrible things can always happen, it’s hard to make a case that the future doesn’t look comparatively positive.  For example, we are becoming extremely technologically sophisticated, and the world is changing at an incredibly rapid rate.  The only way we can manage that positively is if each of us can make wise, careful and truthful decisions.  If we do that, then maybe things will continue to improve.

“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” –  Moses Maimonides, medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher

You don’t get people to stand up on their own two feet and to adopt responsibility if everything is given to them.  And that’s a real problem.


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

19 thoughts on “Compare Yourself Today to Who You were Yesterday

  1. Adolf Menschner

    Hi Gen. Satterfield, you certainly made me think about this article. Maybe it explains why I’ve been depressed so much during my life, as I always look at how easy and lucky other people have been compared to me. I’ll try to get a better view by comparing myself to myself.

  2. The Kid 1945

    Gen. Satterfield once again gives us some very important information and this is probably the most important one this month. We are all guilty of comparing ourselves to others and then being disappointed because of it. Stop doing it now. Compare yourself today to who you were yesterday. Looks for continued improvement. That is the way to a better life.

  3. Purse 5

    Wow, hard to beat this leadership blog. Every day a new POW for my arsenal to make myself a better person. And, I also recommend “55 Rules for a Good Life” by Gen. Douglas Satterfield.

    1. osmodsann

      Just get on with it and go to Amazon and get the book. Stop wasting your life (oh, Gen. Satterfield says that all the time) and get a copy NOW.

  4. Julia

    Another excellent article that makes it worthwhile to read Gen. Satterfield’s leadership blog.

  5. Jerome Smith

    Wonderful article and for those who have a copy of Gen. Satterfield’s new book, “55 Rules for a Good Life,” you will find this articulated throughout.

    1. Liz at Home

      RULE 33: You will be harshly judged by others who know nothing. Get over it. And do not judge yourself compared to someone else; it will disappoint and frustrate you and make you anxious, resentful, and unhappy. Compare yourself today to who you were yesterday. If you don’t have a copy of his book, get it on Kindle or Paperback. You will not be disappointed.

        1. Max Foster

          Mine too. What new readers to this blog will find is that Gen. Satterfield has a very specific philosophy about life and this is showing well in his new book. But don’t think it’s a simple philosophy of hackney phrases but a sophisticated compilation and integration of important rules of behavior.

  6. Dead Pool Guy

    Best quote from Gen. Satterfield today, “If you are seeing yourself in the reflected light of others, then it will be pretty dismal for you. ” You haven’t seen nothing yet from Gen. S.

  7. Harry Man

    “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” – Moses Maimonides, medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher [[regardless who said this – and it probably developed over time which is common – did us all a service for good]]

    1. Emma Archambeau

      Yep. And if you don’t believe it, you ain’t no nuttin bout humons. He He

      1. Tom Bushmaster

        Hey Jerome, great to see you back! Hope all is well. Gen. Satterfield has been nailing it with a string of great articles. Have you been reading up on something exciting? Or just relaxing a bit? Let me know. I plan on a vacation shortly.


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