How to Raise Your Game
A few weeks ago, I added my sister-in-law as a friend on the Fitbit app. Looking at her stats, I was amazed to see that she had a badge for 25,000 steps and was averaging around 15,000 steps a day. I had never even imagined reaching those numbers myself.
At that time, I thought 10,000 steps a day was good because that seems to be the number that everyone talks about. Sometimes I hit it and it felt nice to see a little star next to the step counter on the Fitbit app. Sometimes I didn’t reach the total but that was okay because the goal I was tracking was time-based and not step-based.
After seeing my sister in-law’s numbers and observing what was possible, I found myself trying to get more steps. If she could get 25,000 in a day maybe I could get over 10,000 more often and even get to 11,00 or 12,000.
So I started walking more and more. I soon earned the 15k badge, the 20k badge and the 25k badge. In just a couple of weeks my average daily steps increased from less than 10,000 to 14,000 steps a day so I changed the settings on Fitbit to increase the daily step goal to 15,000.
This weekend my sister-in-law and I are having a friendly competition to see who can get the most steps. Today, we both logged more than 25,000 steps. I’m sore and tired tonight but also really proud of myself for putting in the work and keeping up with her.
The emotion I feel most strongly tonight, though, is gratitude. I’m very fortunate that my sister-in-law showed me how to raise my game by demonstrating that there was a higher standard to meet.
Since I’ve had a lot of success in terms of career, finances and education, I’m often asked for advice by young people. The first principle that I ask them to consider is that they’ll become the average of the five people they spend the most time with so they should choose their friends and acquaintances carefully. They should make sure that they surround themselves with people who raise their standards, inspiring them to be better.
So here’s what I learned today: sometimes the goals we set for ourselves are bounded by artificial standards that are only a fraction of what we’re capable of achieving. Surround yourself with people who make you better and you may be surprised by what you’ll be able to achieve.
P.S. Thank you, Karen for showing me how to raise my game!