The secret of competing against yourself

It’s the start of a new week. One that transitions into the next month of the new year, for that matter.  Hopefully you’re getting excited for what is in store for you and all this week has to offer. I wanted to share some perspective from a video I watched today. It was a compilation of talks outlining  Simon Sinek’s 10 Rules for Success.

In my opinion, the best part was where he talked about how the goal is not to outdo anyone (i.e. getting more followers, more likes etc.) but rather, how to outdo yourself.

“It’s about how to make sure the work you’re producing is better than the work you produced before.
You are your competition.”

I thought that was an incredible reminder of what is really important.  How many times do we keep ourselves from starting something because we compare ourselves to someone else who is doing what we want to do? We look at the number of followers someone has on Instagram and think, “wow. I could never get 11.5K followers…” (they might be fake! But that’s another story). We psyche ourselves out because we compare ourselves to others but what we really should be doing is playing against ourselves.

Sinek goes on to say, “Finite players play to beat the people around them. Infinite players play to be better than themselves.” And this works on both a professional, “how can we produce a product that was better than it was last week?” and personal level, “how can I become a better version of myself today than I was yesterday?”

Because once you realize that finding joy in what you’re doing comes from the moments when you recognize that you’ve accomplished something, that you’ve made progress, that’s the long-term view that will keep you in the game.

“Joy comes not from comparison but from advancement (of yourself).”

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There’s one more piece to add onto this. Making any shift or change in your own perspective requires one key ingredient. The real secret is having your own internal motivation to do so. Your own ‘why’ in terms of why you’re doing X.

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When you have that piece of the puzzle, you’ll actually do it. That’s the real secret to sustainable motivation in work and in life.


You create your own happiness

I’ve had this quote tapped up to my bathroom mirror for a bit. And it’s a good one because…

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it centers you with the responsibility of creating your own happiness each day. But it’s also good to temper this expectation because while you’re responsible for your happiness, it’s truly a balance.

Sometimes saying ‘yes’ to a random night out with friends is a break from your routine, or getting out and exploring a new part of your city gives you the confidence to be more adventurous in other areas of your life. Happiness is not found in these things, but rather in how you show up to every new experience or planned event.


There’s always a price, dearie.

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” – Henry David Thoreau

Anything that costs you your peace is too expensive.

Now, some things we cannot change but we can make the best use of what is in our immediate influence, and take the rest as it happens.

May the odds be ever in your favor 😉

Don’t fear failure – use it

Saturday evening reflections on the day.

People who are successful use failures as a way to learn and a way to practice. Failure is a lesson learned.

“Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” – Coco Chanel

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley

“It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.”
– Ellen DeGeneres

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
– Winston Churchill

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”
– Johnny Cash

“No human ever became interesting by not failing. The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you are as a person. Ever meet someone who’s always had everything work out for them with zero struggle? They usually have the depth of a puddle. Or they don’t exist.”
– Chris Hardwick

Remember your ‘why’ and you’ll be able to keep going.

You never know who you might be inspiring.

I happen to really like quotes. Particularly of the inspiring kind 🙂

Anyway, I’ve had this one tapped up to my desk for a few months now:

“Make your life a model of what can happen if you take chances, think big, and go for your dreams. You never know who you might be inspiring”


You never know who you might be inspiring.

Tonight, as I was walking away from the gym where I now train in the Bay Area, one of the younger girls from the youth fitness class, called out to me–by name–as I was leaving. “Bye, Holly!” She yelled. I was shocked and flattered that she somehow did.

I felt sheepish that I didn’t immediately know her name but I returned her “bye!” with just as much enthusiasm. All I know is that when the young ones are gathering, watching us finish up a workout while waiting for their class to start, I try to be an example of someone who puts in the effort, strives for proper technique (especially under fatigue), and maintains a positive energy (let’s be honest, especially under fatigue). I realize being a true example of this is probably someone who lives up to these things even when everyone’s back is turned. But, they’re kids and they need good examples. So I might as well do a good job when they’re actually watching.

I guess today I don’t have any wisdom just this observation and acknowledging my gratitude to be able to train among the other females at the gym who actively support each other, are playful and funny and strong. They definitely inspire me and I hope the young ladies who see us are inspired too.

Quick, shameless plug 🙂 if you have youngsters and want to introduce them to fitness, this is your man! Courage Performance.