It’s easy to think that when you finally achieve something or get somewhere, you’ll experience happiness and satisfaction in life. But this approach is the surest way to feel the exact opposite. That’s why experts suggest trying something different: compare who you are today with who you used to be. Here’s why this works better.

It’s great to have goals. They push us forward and help us grow. And if we’re not growing and pushing ourselves, we get stuck, lethargic and unhappy. So, it’s not that you shouldn’t have goals. But you just shouldn’t compare your current situation with a blurry future.

That’s because if you do, you might never get there. And if you put off happiness until you “get there” (wherever that might be), you can wait a long time – maybe even forever.

So what’s a better approach?

Dan Sullivan, author of The Gain and the Gap, says “The way to measure your progress is backward against where you started, not against your ideal.”

In other words, look behind you, not ahead.

This allows you to track your progress and acknowledge just how far you’ve come. As Sullivan says, “Totally accept that the only progression you can achieve is the progress you measure.”

And when you measure all that you’ve accomplished, you can really feel proud of yourself and experience gratitude. 

What’s more, comparing who you are now with who you used to be can be incredibly encouraging. And encouragement is exactly what you need to keep pushing yourself forward. 

Otherwise, you constantly compare yourself with everything you don’t have yet, and that can be pretty discouraging, right?

So, instead of comparing who you are now with who you want to be someday, take a compassionate look at yourself and be proud of everything you’ve accomplished to get to this very point today. 

It’s a sure way to experience happiness and satisfaction right now.

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