They may say, those were the days. But in a way, you know for us these are the days. ~ Perry Farrell, Jane’s Addiction
I wasn’t always like this.
I didn’t always do what you see me doing now. For a long time, my life was very different than it is today.
- I didn’t live in California, I lived in Oklahoma
- I wasn’t in shape, I was a flabby beer-belly guy
- I wasn’t focused, I was drunk and chaotic
- I didn’t work for myself, I worked many 9–5 jobs
I guess you could say that my old life was “interesting”, but a better way to put it would be to say that it was much, much worse.
A few times a year I go back to Oklahoma for business or to see family and I get to see my old world again. I always take time to drive around and see all of my old houses, hangouts and places of employment.
While doing a recent drive-around tour of a small town in Oklahoma I used to live in, I decided to pull out my phone and film it so you could see it too. [Watch the video below]
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As you can see, things haven’t always been the way they are now. I haven’t always been the guy that is writing the words you are reading today. I’ve changed drastically over time.
But I don’t always see it.
How To See Progress Over Time
Have you ever seen someone post a before and after picture of their weight loss or muscle building journey? Those photos may seem vain, but they are one of the most important parts of the process.
We live with ourselves every day and we see ourselves in the mirror multiple times per day. Because changes happen slowly we don’t realize we’re making progress at all. So we get frustrated and give up.
If you looked at your body 30 days after starting a diet and didn’t see any changes you’d quit, right?
But when you compare a photo of yourself now to one taken a year ago you’re able to see the change that has happened. It energizes you to keep going and gives you a much better chance at keeping it up long term.
It’s the same with life circumstances. It’s harder to appreciate what you’ve accomplished if you forget where you started.
Sometime I forget about my old life completely and lose appreciation of where I am today. But if I do a long-term comparison, from Dishwasher to Online Marketing Whale I see the change.
Here’s what my job timeline looked like:
- Subway Sandwich Artist
- Door to Door Meat Salesman
- Gas Station Employee, Night Shift
- Tech Support / Web Design at an ISP
- Flash Web Designer at an Interactive Agency
- Creative Director at Ad Agency
- Part-time SEO affiliate marketer
- Full-time, Online Marketing Whale
If you’re unhappy with where you are now, remember. You’re not trapped, stuck, screwed or cursed. You’re probably doing better than you think. And if an uneducated, minimum wage guy like me can do it, you can too.
You’re probably already on your way.
It isn’t where you came from, its where you’re going that counts. ~ Ella Fitzgerald