“You need to ignore what everyone else is doing and achieving. Your life is about breaking your own limits and outgrowing yourself to live your best life. Push to outdo your past, not other people.”
I just saw this on Instagram and definitely agree with most of it. Paying attention to what everyone else is doing only serves to make us feel insecure. Or superior. Both of which are unhealthy.
But as we take the focus off other people, do we turn our attention to beating past versions of ourselves? As we grow older, we have so many versions of that person. We have the past version that was 24 hours ago. And the one that was 24 years ago. As we get older, we can forget the yesterday we can still see and remember the yesterday we can’t.
When I was in my worst days with rheumatoid arthritis, I didn’t remember that yesterday I didn’t so much as go for a walk, but I clearly remembered the double workouts from my 20s. I remembered the marathon I completed, the weights I lifted, the mountains I climbed. Beating yesterday can be overwhelming if those are the yesterdays we are trying to beat.
A while back I decided that instead of “beating yesterday” I would “befriend today.” Beating implies a competition while befriending suggests an alliance. When we befriend today, we enter into an amicable relationship with the day. We are able to show up and do what is best for our bodies where we are at now. Not where we were yesterday.
Being our best can’t just mean doing more than we did yesterday. Befriending today could be walking for an hour, meditating for 10 minutes, making a nice dinner, stretching, lifting some light weights. Or it could mean sitting outside with some tea and a good book. If I show up, fully present, and do what is best for my body today, I win.
All of us have yesterdays filled with both accomplishments and regret. They are valuable teachers, but poor monuments. Whether it is the yesterday we can see or the one that reminds us of who we were, today’s victories can be sweeter than yesterday’s accomplishments.
The best way to beat yesterday? Befriend today. It’s been my best ally and greatest treasure.