5 reasons you SHOULD compare yourself

5 Kernels of Corn

We had a tradition growing up. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving every year, our family would gather to hear our pastor tell us the Thanksgiving story. Pastor Phil was a former history teacher and he couldn’t hold back a lecture.

We didn’t mind. He told the story with such conviction and passion. It evolved into one of the highlights of the holiday for me.

I specifically remember the story about 5 kernels of corn. If you’re unfamiliar, you can find the full version here.

The quick version is that winter got so bad for some of the first Pilgrims that they were restricted to a daily ration of 5 kernels of corn.

A ship called The Fortune dropped anchor in their harbor. Aboard the ship were thirty-five more colonists who had brought with them no provisions — no food, no extra clothing, no equipment for survival. Additionally, the oppression of the physical environment had become almost unbearable after a twelve-week drought dried up their crops and withered their spirits. The newcomers’ arrival had drained already inadequate food rations and there was no obvious resource for sustenance. At their lowest point, the Pilgrims were reduced to a daily ration of five kernels of corn apiece.

Obviously, their circumstances improved. They pulled through and overcame. However, during the next Thanksgiving meal they followed a tradition.

The Pilgrims feasted on game and turkey as they had during their previous celebration, only this time one dish was different. The first course, served on an empty plate in front of each person, consisted of five kernels of corn, a gentle reminder of God’s faithful provision for them.

The Pilgrims made sure never to forget their past.

5 Reasons to Compare Yourself

Although I don’t suggest comparing yourself to others, I do think you should compare yourself to yourself. Sound odd? Maybe, at first. But not when you understand these 5 reasons. Comparing yourself with yourself produces:

1. Gratitude

When you consider your present blessings (big or small) you feel more grateful. Whether you’re in a season of material abundance or lack, comparing the past to the present creates a sense of gratitude if you’re willing to look for it.

2. Joy

Reflecting can produce joy. Today is a gift and the past is simply a memory. As long as you’re breathing you have power to change your future. This reality is incredibly empowering and produces joy.

3. Growth

Comparing yourself to yourself reveals how you’ve grown. I take action to grow every day. Sure it requires an investment of time and finances, but I love comparing my present self to my past self. I see how far I’ve come.

But before I get too excited, all I need to do is look ahead. When I do, I see how far I still have to go. This comparison keeps me humble and dependent upon God to give me strength and guidance.

4. Perspective

I read the 5 kernels of corn story to my family this morning. By learning about the Pilgrims, they were amazed at where we came from. They saw a glimpse of our rich struggle and history.

Although we sat on carpeted floor in a beautiful house with a warm fireplace, they realized our ancestors didn’t have it quite so comfortable. This comparison helped us all get perspective and choose an attitude of thankfulness.

5. Legacy

If you’re willing to look backwards once in a while, you can see you’re creating a legacy for your future generations. One day your actions may be captured in history books, blogs, or podcasts. How will your legacy read?

1 Opportunity for you to Grow

Two weeks ago a bunch of world changers just gathered for the Igniting Souls Conference 2014. If you came, you know how powerful our time was. If you missed it, I want you to come to our 2015 conference.

I want you to make 2015 the year that you compare yourself with yourself and you look back stunned and amazed. Doing so will produce gratitude, joy, growth, perspective, and legacy. 

We’re so committed to this idea, we want to give you 50% off our list price. Tickets will never be this low again. Call it a Black Friday special if you want. We call it investing in your future.

Just remember, this offer ends Sunday November 30th. Don’t forget to REGISTER. And remember, to keep comparing yourself with yourself and only yourself.