What they focus on

Our circumstances in life are different for everyone of us, our spawn point, the map, our character class. So one problem with advice is always the question of how much it really is relevant for our individual situation. However those specifics, if you want to draw a line, you need at least two points of reference.

While I find it somewhat boring and enervating when people can’t get beyond seeing earning a lot of money as a single measurement for success, I also find this financial metric valuable up to a certain point, precisely because too many people are a little bit too exited about it. It has some merit, specially if we talk about people who weren’t born rich.

Lately, while surfing the web, two of those self-made millionaires, who started with modest, even precarious situations, pointed out the same guidance. And I don’t think they talked about it, if they even know each other, but came to these conclusions independently, merely drawing from their experiences on the road to success building small businesses.

I am pretty sure you have heard from at least one of them, specially if you are interested in software development or business building (or both, I guess.)

The problem of superficial measurement in terms of success in life and business, is that it torpedoes success itself. It created living space for the lesser stirrings of the human heart, like greed, envy, small-mindedness of various sorts and controlling issues. These lead to stupid decisions, that literally destroy businesses and artistic projects time and again.

Instead of being superficially dismissing the problems around that, the (arguably) best copywriter in the world, John Carlton, takes them head on. He shows how to overcome this before he gives the second cure to envy and emotional problems with business.

The same remedy gets prescribed by David Heinemeier Hansson (creator of Ruby on Rails) as both a measure against stress and paranoia on the one side, and a way to be positively motivated on the other hand.

As an alternative choice for us to getting consumed by all these unnecessary emotions and fears, they both point to the same attitude.

David writes it in his blog post like this:

The only competition I’ve come to love is the one against myself, and that’s not really a competition, now is it? The progress of betterment. Playing your part to the best of your abilities in a beautiful whole.

John says the same on his blog:

Dan Sullivan (of Strategic Coach) has a good take on this: He suggests you stop comparing yourself to others… and instead, compare yourself to yourself.  Get happy with the progress you’ve made from wherever you were before. Don’t allow your brain to start measuring how short you came up against your lofty dreams, or other’s success. (Which is what most folks do.)

This gets some getting used to it, but it is well worth it. (How much so, I hinted at in my previous post.)

I would say, it is a good idea to read both posts, here is were you’ll find them: