Pinnacle Personnel Services LLC | Debbie Hatch
It’s only 37 degrees this morning in Nebraska but the sun is out and I’m enjoying a cup of coffee in my own dining room. I have nothing to complain about (what purpose does complaining about everything serve anyway?)
This morning’s thoughts settle on our human tendency of comparing ourselves to other people. Are we on track? Are we doing as well as everyone else? It applies to all of the elements in my retirement triad: health, wealth, and personal fulfillment.
WEALTH: Every single time I teach a Planning for Retirement from the Financial Perspective class, someone will ask, “How much does the average person have saved for retirement?” Every single time my answer is the same. “Who cares?” We each have different plans for retirement. Some people will have their home paid off, have raised their children (or didn’t have any), want to travel only occasionally and don’t care about getting a new car very often. Others will still be paying a mortgage, not want to downsize, be helping children through college or even in their adult lives, want to travel frequently and get a new car every other year. Some people have multiple retirement income streams, others don’t. Some people live in high cost of living areas. Others don’t. Some people spend a lot of money on health related issues; others don’t.
You see my point. Comparing ourselves to some theoretical “average” is frustrating, disheartening, and serves no real purpose.
Making OUR own plan for retirement and then identifying concrete steps to get there makes more sense.
HEALTH: I don’t think I need to explain that we all have different health factors. We generally understand this. That said, just this morning in one of my online powerlifting groups, a woman said, “I was proud of myself for lifting xyz last week. When I see what everyone else in this group is doing though – I’m not even close to the other 55 year old women. Now I feel discouraged.” Let me say it one more time for the folks in the back ======>>>>
When I did figure competitions (45 – 50), I collected pictures of the professionals that I admired. They were everywhere. I thought they would “motivate me”. I didn’t look like the pros. I wasn’t close to doing what they did.
Those pictures did NOTHING except make me feel less than. I could never measure up.
When I started powerlifting, I followed a whole bunch of professionals on social media. Again, I didn’t appreciate my accomplishments. Compared to the pros, my small improvements seemed like nothing.
Ultimately I’ve deleted all of those accounts. If I need technical tweaks, I’ll pull up one of the pros. Otherwise, I keep a personal log and look at my own paper.
What anyone else can do doesn’t impact me. What I can do doesn’t impact them.
I do compete. I love pushing myself, having a deadline to work towards, and seeing MY numbers improve.
I love the adrenaline of being on the platform.
Many of my friends have no interest in lifting heavy, powerlifting, or competing. That’s absolutely okay. It doesn’t make me “better” nor does it make them.
PERSONAL FULFILLMENT is along those very same lines. Clearly we all enjoy and strive for different things. I don’t usually cite Wikipedia but in this case I’m going to make an exception. That “reference” defines it as, “achievement of life goals which are important to an individual, in contrast to the goals of society, family and other collective obligations. Personal fulfillment is an ongoing journey for a human individual.” I love that.
There have always been people smarter, stronger, faster, richer, more accomplished or “successful” than me. People with more stuff, bigger dreams, more “normal” families, better behaving kids.
There always will be no matter how much I/you improve.
You do what YOU can do and so will I.