[January 26, 2023] Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today. You need to be aiming for something – a higher goal – and that means you’re going to be lesser than other people who’ve already attained status in that aim. My second lesson for men is, “Don’t compare yourself to others because doing so creates unintended consequences.”
If you look at people and think, wow, I’d like to be them, then you need to know that you’re comparing yourself to people you don’t really know. That means you see their good, shiny outside, but you don’t see the reality of their life.
You can’t tell about others. And people have hard lives, and comparatively fortunate people have hard lives. The ideal you are observing that makes you jealous and resentful is, in large part an illusion created by your mind.
I’ve known many highly successful folks who are in high-status careers, high pay, high visibility and were all self-made. They all have a heavy responsibility burden that would crush the typical person. They’re just working flat out, 80 to 90 hours a week, and they have thousands of people depending upon them.
These successful people have their money and their status, and that’s not nothing but don’t think that there isn’t a price paid for that. They don’t see their families, they’re often divorced, they don’t see their children grow up, they have few friends, and they don’t have time off.
Be careful what you are jealous of because you don’t know what their life is truly like. And remember that you are different from everyone else, and you shouldn’t compare yourself to them because they’re not like you. They don’t have your family or temperament or troubles or abilities. The only person who has those is you.
Even if things are going pretty well for you now, there’s going to be a time in the future when things are rough. You’ll be sick, family members will be ill, your dreams will fall apart, and your employment status will change quickly. The flood is coming. Things are not working out for you.
The question is, “Who should you defeat in the final analysis?” And the answer is, “You should defeat your former self.” You should constantly be trying to do that, and you are in proper control of yourself because it is you who has had all your advantages and disadvantages. If you want to compete fairly with someone, then compete with you.
If you are improving yourself, then what you are doing is competing with your lesser self. That lesser self is you as resentful, bitter, aggressive, vengeance-seeking, and all of those things that go along with poor moral character. Your lesser self is slowing your progress toward a better life.
The meaning of life is to be found in that pursuit.
Men! Don’t compare yourself to others.
Note: The thumbnail for this series on lessons for men comes from a painting by Victor Bauer. I like his work, which is found on his website for purchase. He works mainly in oil. Go there and purchase one of his works at this link (click here).
Please read my books:
Another great series form the thinking mind of Gen. Satterfield and we are reading them as he publishes them. What could be better? Maybe a beer! Nope. Reading this blog.
While this new mini-series of articles purports to be for “men” and it is, I also believe it is for women. It helps us better understand how men can be better men and how boys can grow up looking forward to being a strong man. That is the basis of all successful civilizations and Gen. Satterfield has nailed it.
Great points Claudia. ✔✔✔✔✔
Sir, loving this mini-series so far.
Ouch, important idea ……
“These successful people have their money and their status, and that’s not nothing but don’t think that there isn’t a price paid for that. They don’t see their families, they’re often divorced, they don’t see their children grow up, they have few friends, and they don’t have time off. Be careful what you are jealous of because you don’t know what their life is truly like. “
POW, got that right Winston. Much to be learned here.
This “lesson for men” is more important than you can imagine. Now, I’m sure that we all know and Gen. Satterfield knows that we get ideas from others and they help us set standards and push and pull us into being a better person but if we want to keep a good head on our shoulders, then we had better not focus all our efforts on following the “ideal” of other people or we will always be disappointed, bitter, vengeful, and nasty.
New to this website and like what I read both from the author and from commentators. I’m impressed and love what I can glean from others. Learn what you can from others. Now that might just be a future men’s lesson.
Welcome to Gen. Satterfield’s leadership forum.
Welcome aboard, Jack.
Thank you sir!
Yes, welcome Jack of all trades. This is a respectful forum but we listen to all ideas. Keep your comments clean and you will do well. Present ideas. That is what we want. Or, delve deeper into explaining what others and Gen. S have written. You will do well here.
Loving this website and altho the emphasis of this new mini-series is for men, it also applies to women – maybe not as much, but it still applies. ❤❤❤❤
Me too ….. for better reasons than most.
If you’re looking at me, then YES, this might just be important for men (and women too) but for men, I’m less sure that works. Comparing yourself to others sometimes does work.
Don’t emphasize your comparisons or make it your life, I think that is what Gen. Satterfield is telling us. If you want more info on this idea, then take a close read of his book “55 Rules for a Good Life” and in it you can find all sorts of reasons not to compare yourself to others but to follow the tried and true ways of the many who came before us and succeeded. And, if you can then support Gen. Satterfield by getting copies and giving them out. There is no cost to be on this website and zero popup ads, notice that? You should. Lesson for men is a wonderful series. I look forward to more.
Thoughtful. And spot on look at Gen. Satterfield’s idea that we should not be comparing ourselves to others but better to compare yourself today to who you were yesterday. That is the path to improvement.
— exactly why I read the forums religiously and support Gen. Satterfield and have learned that his ideas work!
Right, the ultimate test of something worthwhile is that it works. And these ideas work and his advice works. Why? I’m not smart enough but accept it fully.
Great lesson for men.