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Don’t Look Sideways

October 11, 2013

Lisa yoga

I started practicing yoga in 1998. I was fresh out of a longterm relationship that had ended in a mess and I was desperately looking for something that would help me to move forward.

I remember thinking, “All these people are so flexible.”

And they were. I, however, not so much. During my first class, the teacher told me, “It’s a good thing you came in. Your hamstrings are so tight, if you don’t do anything, your back is going to snap.”

Not quite the “relaxation” I was looking for…

Does This Sound Like You?

Almost everything we do in our lives is like my first experience at yoga — we show up for “the first day” with a certain level of skill to find others, some on their first days also, way ahead of us.

The positive of this is that watching other people allows us to see what is possible. However, the downside is that we’re often comparing our beginnings to other people’s middles. Even “the first day” isn’t a good comparison since we all walk in with different skill sets and abilities developed from other things we’ve done.

The Dirty Secret of Good Jugglers (and Marketers)

Have you ever watched a good juggler drop something? If so, know that this is often on purpose. It’s the same principle professional speakers use when they flub words.

Why would somebody do this?

They want you to know how tough what they’re doing is. It’s the same reason stuntmen often delay things due to “weather” or have potentially fatal equipment malfunctions during test runs — they want to appear even more fearless than they already are.

Sadder and Less Satisfied

A recent study by the University of Michigan found that use of Facebook led to a decline in happiness and overall life satisfaction among college-aged adults.

Why?

“When you’re on a site like Facebook, you get lots of posts about what people are doing. That sets up social comparison — you maybe feel your life is not as full and rich as those people you see on Facebook,” said research co-author John Jonides, a University of Michigan cognitive neuroscientist.

Like jugglers and stuntmen making mistakes on purpose, what people post on Facebook is often hype designed to make them look cooler to others. It’s not something we should worry about.

But we do.

And we worry about the guy who quit his job just a couple of months ago and is already making $10,000/month online. Or the new blogger with 150,000 visitors a month to his site. Or the “New and Noteworthy” podcast that isn’t nearly as good as the one you do.

None of this matters. It doesn’t affect you other than to show you what is possible.

Look forward, because that’s the direction you want to go.

ABOUT THIS SERIES: Every Friday, I give tips on how to build the foundation needed to have a successful business and platformSee other posts in this series here and, if you have a request for me to cover something specific, let me know via Twitter.

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