Who am I and why the hell should you care about reading my blog?

Avid motorcyclist & freelance writer, specializing in motorcycles & motorcycle related topics, with a healthy dose of good humor, good vibes & general advice on simply being a good person.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Nobody Said It Would Be Easy...

 Nobody Said It Would Be Easy...

...and if they did, they lied. 

We've all met those people that seem to have it easy, all of the time. Those folks that try something for the first time and just seem to master it immediately; those people that always seem to be the ones that find a $20 bill while walking on the sidewalk or that always seem to catch all the green lights when driving through traffic. They never have to work as hard as others or suffer the same frustrations. I read something a while back from my friends over at Go Fast Don't Die and they said it like this- "comparison is the thief of joy." I read that a few times and just, let it sink in. 

Comparison is the thief of joy. 

Comparison truly is the thief of joy.

As human animals in this crazy jungle of our own creation, we are always looking at others and comparing. We compare our successes, we compare our houses, we compare our financial situations and on, and on, and on. 




Instincts, Built Right In

We can't help ourselves... it's instinctive. I won't get into the science of it, but basically, at the core of it, we are at the top of the evolutionary food chain and we know it, so we are always looking at those around us that pose the most competition to our dominance. Like I said... it's science. 

But what happens when you compare yourselves to someone else? If you're doing better than them, then you feel dominant... as if you're succeeding at life, more than them. You no longer see them as a threat; you feel dominant. But, what happens when you compare yourself to someone who is doing better than you? You, instinctively, see them as a threat. But a threat to what? We have evolved to the point where food is readily available for all of us. For the vast majority of the world's population, shelter is readily available. So, if your neighbor has a nicer car, or a bigger house... how in the hell is he a threat to you? 

Bottom line- he's not. 

Turns out, you are you're own worst enemy when you are constantly comparing yourself to others. So, what's the solution? If it's instinctive, then can't it be inferred that it's out of our control? Let me pose this question to you- if, it is instinctive and we can't control the instincts to compete... or compare... why can't we do it in a way that is actually constructive? Why can't we compete against ourselves? Is there some rule that we have to compare ourselves to our neighbor's success, or can we compare our own progress today against our own progress from yesterday, then strive for a better result tomorrow?

Comparison is the thief of joy... mainly because we are doing it wrong. We need to compare ourselves against ourselves. 

Let me ask you this- when you first straddled a motorcycle... as in... literally, the very first time... didn't you have to learn how to ride it? Each time you mounted up on that machine, didn't you get better and better with each subsequent ride? If you have had your job for a while, didn't you start in an entry-level position (or at least, something close to it)? If you just started your job, don't you hope to advance? Just like learning to walk required learning fundamental building blocks, so does each step you take in life. We've all heard the old adage of "you've got to learn to crawl before you walk... then after you learn to walk, you can learn to run." It's all about taking small steps in order to be able to make long strides, toward our own individual success.

Building Blocks

I'm not talking about the toys that kids have... but, rather, learning fundamental, foundational, skills that help you to build to your goals. Come to think of it, the concept is the same. When you buy your kid that Lego builder (go ahead and click the link... yes, it's a Harley), you open the box to find a bag filled with what seems like 1,000 tiny little square blocks. You have to start out with a clear plan, then figure out what goes where, and in what order, then build it, piece by piece, until you reach the goal. The goal in the case of the toy, is the chunky looking toy that resembles a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy motorcycle; the goal in your life, could be, well... just about anything. Want a new job? Figure out a plan to get it. Do you need a specialized education or do you need to learn a specialized skill? Make a plan to learn it. Do you want to get a promotion? What is required for the position?  What skills, experience, education or knowledge do you need to meet the qualifications? 

This next part is key.

Once you establish a plan, work your ass off. Then, work your ass off some more. You have to earn it. You have to want it enough to be willing to make the sacrifices, learn the skills, gain the experience and, in the case of a new job or a promotion, you have to prove yourself to be the best candidate for the job. Very little things in life worth having, come easily. Even if it comes easily, you still have to work hard to keep it. How many people have won a lottery jackpot, only to find themselves broke a few years later? It's because they didn't make the sacrifices to keep their newfound wealth. They got rich quick (without having to earn it), then didn't limit their spending, invest their winnings or do anything at all to maintain their money. Ever see a really wealthy person squandering their money on frivolities? You may be able to point out the occasional professional athlete or musician... but, for the vast majority of those people who had to work, and work hard, for their wealth... you rarely see them piss it away on silly things like boats, luxury cars or enormous mansions (at least, not until they are so wealthy that they are making money faster than they can spend it). 

Remember this- wealth found is wealth lost, but wealth earned is wealth kept.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is this- if you want something in life, you have to earn it. If it's worth having, it should come with some difficulty. After all, if you don't have to earn it, you're probably not going to appreciate it once you have it. The harder that you work to earn something, the more you will appreciate having it, because you'll know, first hand, how hard it was to get. 

So go out there and work, MotoReaders. Work hard, be successful and don't forget to...

Ride Safe and Make Good Choices.