Personal Growth

Just Be Better Than Your Former Self

My spouse and I re-watched a film over the weekend, “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” We sat down to soak it in again after we saw the sequel in the theater. In it a line by main character and mentor Colin Firth was said to a rookie kingsman in training Taron Egerton. The phrase really struck both my husband and me.

That quote is credited to Ernest Hemingway and says, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

Isn’t that lovely? When you stop and think about it, aren’t these good words to live by?

I am in competition with no one but myself. I don’t need to be better than anyone else except the person I was five seconds ago, five days ago and five years ago.

I can’t stop thinking about this statement and how it should be told to children at an early age. I’m going to tell it to my daughters. I’m going to whisper it to myself when I find notions of doubt, jealousy or insecurity creep up inside.

It doesn’t matter what the person next to me is accomplishing or not achieving. I’m not that person. I am me. What am I doing to enhance myself and be better than the person I was or am right now?

Sometimes that may include just reading to broaden my mind. It may mean networking within a professional group to gain new skills and learn more in my community. Or it could mean doing a random, kind act for another person or simply sending a helpful resource or a ‘I thought of you today’ note to a friend.

There is always a small way we can improve and do the right thing. We can cast aside the zealous, ruthless nature and replace it with self-transformation. We can be our own kingsman and kingswoman and act with self courage and true nobility as the wise gentleman Colin Firth says.

Thank you Kingsman and Ernest Hemingway (if you really did say this quote) for this little reminder. Yesterday I did good. Today I will work toward being better. And tomorrow I will try it all over again.

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