There are three things that you cannot avoid in life. Death, taxes, and the fact that life is just simply not fair.

Think about it…when your position in the food chain is largely determined by whether or not you were born with a thumb…it’s pretty easy to determine that life isn’t fair. There is often no rhyme or reason why things happen the way they do…they just happen. The problem occurs when we let this truth become a self-limiting belief. More often than not, we adopt the fact that “life isn’t fair” and then use that as an excuse to keep from performing at our true potential.

I believe it was Thomas Jefferson (I could be mistaken) that said:

“The only thing worse than an excuse…is a good excuse.”

Let’s face it. There are going to be things that don’t go your way. There are going to be things that happen to you that shouldn’t. There are going to be things that are beyond your control that have a significant impact on your life. Sometimes life can be really tough. BUT…the true test isn’t what happens to us, but rather what happens within us during those moments.

You have two options: Be bitter or be better.

  • If you’re not where you want in your career – be better at your job.
  • If you’re not where you want in your marriage – be a better spouse.
  • If you’re not where you want with your children – be a better a parent.

There’s an ancient Chinese proverb that says:

“If you see a good man, emulate him. If you see a bad man, examine your heart.”

Another common mistake we make is basing the idea of our own success on the success of other people. We see people doing great things and say to ourselves “I want to do that” or “I want to feel like that” or “I want to look like that” – and in a lot of ways…that’s okay. But there’s a stark realization that also has to come with that…

If you want what other people have…you better be prepared to do MORE than what they’ve already done. That’s why I say the only person you should try to “beat” or “be better than” is the person you were yesterday. You want a better product? Make a product better than the one you made yesterday. Don’t worry about beating the “other guy” – focus on being better than you were yesterday…and one day…you’ll look up and realize you’ve left everyone in the dust.

Don’t allow yourself to become bitter…focus on becoming better…it’s much easier to win that way.