The Last Word

By Scott Tisdall | Posted: Monday August 13, 2018

My Words of Wisdom

Morning boys. This will be my final last word so I decided to give my words of wisdom. I just want you to know that most of the ideas in my speech are taken from Jordan Peterson’s book, 12 Rules For Life, which I have learnt a lot from. I hope you enjoy.

Compare yourself to who you were yesterday.

Humans constantly compare themselves to the people around them. We do this subconsciously to figure out where we lie in our social hierarchies. This can and does affect our mental state and I’ll give you an example. Let's say you’re a pretty good guitar player and you play in a group who are less talented. Your brain will notice this and release a neural chemical known as serotonin. Serotonin is the status hormone, and when you have enough of it in your blood you feel confident, in control and in order. However, as soon as someone more competent than you joins the group, your brain will restrict that flow of serotonin and you will feel out of control and uncertain. Now if you add the countless exceptional guitar players on youtube into the mix, your brain will find dozens of ways in which they’re better than you and dozens of ways in which you’re worse.

Here are some other examples. You might think that you are pretty good at academics? Well, sorry but you’re only ONE google search away from a child genius that is half your age and can teach University level calculus. You’re proud of your lay up technique in basketball? Well, it turns out your friend who’s in the A team will make you look... completely incompetent. You see if there is a large enough gap between you and the person who is better than you, you will feel unconfident, out of control, more likely to give up and let your life slip into hell. Jordan Peterson says the most efficient way to stop yourself from slipping into chaos and I quote, 'Is to stop comparing yourself to who someone else is today, and to start comparing yourself to who you were yesterday.'

Now what’s the best way to do that?

I’ll tell you, but it sounds a little bit nuts.

Please try it now. You need to have a conversation with yourself.

One way you can do this is by separating yourself into different days. Like an app or game that updates over time and changes.

Ask yourself these questions... “Were you the best possible version of yourself yesterday? Did you do your best to be healthy yesterday? Were you engaged yesterday? Did you make a positive difference in the world yesterday? and Did you do what was truly meaningful yesterday?” Now rate yourself out of 10, with 10 being your ideal self. Answering these questions will reveal ways in which you can better yourself yesterday and then you can put those ways into practice today. You can now be less concerned about those excellent guitarists that you find on youtube and be more concerned in the ways that you can be a better version of yourself. Because at the end of this day…. if you know that you have been better than who you were yesterday, you will be rewarded with a good dose of serotonin, feel more in control and continue to improve towards your ideal heaven.

The trick however is to be as truthful as possible. If you ask yourself “Did I do my best to be healthy?” and you reply with yes, when in that same day you drunk one and a half litres of coke you will find no reason to improve and will continue to drink one and a half litres of coke everyday... without... improvement... If today you got into an argument and lied just to be right, you need to be as honest with yourself as you possibly can at your end of day review, no matter how uncomfortable it may be! The more uncomfortable the truth is the more you need to have that conversation! Tim Ferris once said “A person's success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” So remember, compare yourself to who you were yesterday and not to who someone else is today. Thank you.