I don’t know about you, but my level of tolerance for bull**** has always been quite low. Whenever I read those business books or article about people who managed to accomplish so much in their lives but they still tell me that they are not “better” than me. How come?
You have more money than me, a (hotter) girlfriend, a bigger house, internal piece, a great community whom you serve impeccably, amazing friends, emotional intelligence on top levels and you are on the road toward your vision but still, you claim you are not better than me. How come?
All of this sounded like bull**** to me because it was obvious that you were “better.” Every single indicator showed that and I got pissed that people wouldn’t say that you. Was it because you don’t want to rub people in the wrong way or that you wanted to spare my feelings or maybe sell me something?
So I started to explore this kind of mindset of better-worse and what I found out completely turned my world upside down.
Three types of hierarchical dynamics
When I started learning about these dynamics, I started noticing the words people used when they described their situations. This, paired up with their body language, gave me enough information to classify this dynamic and this is what I came up:
- Better-worse dynamic — only a fraction of people mention this because of the obvious reasons (ego problems, backlash, isn’t useful)
- High vibration-low vibration energy — this is quite popular in the woo-woo parts of personal development. The higher your vibration, the more successful you are. Still, doesn’t provide any objective metrics and is hard to distinguish between the energy levels (a lot of nuances)
- High level-low level game dynamic — this is the one that had the biggest potential so I started to explore it further
As a previous gamer, I quickly grasped the concept of high level-low level dynamics.
Imagine yourself as a character spawning at level 1 where the game has no end purpose, you have to figure it out yourself.
You have Quests and missions (tasks) that you can take upon yourself to grow your level. The maximum level you can get is 100 even though there are multiple things you can do on lower levels as well.
When you are on level 1, you can take on level 2 quests which bring you to level 2. But you also have the option of choosing level 1 quests, but they simply don’t give you any experience (growth).
So you can spend the next 10 years just doing level 1 quests and always staying at level 1 or you can take on level 2 quests and grow to level 2. And then take on level 3 quests and 4… all the way up to level 100.
The more levels your character has, the more Developed he or she is. And the more developed it is, the more things you can do with it. You don’t have to go all to level 100, you can get satisfied with a level 14 or level 72 but nonetheless, level 100 is the maximum you can go.
But leveling is hard, takes time and effort and is simple (finish the quest to get experience), but not easy. So you need to grind quests to grow and the more you grow, the fewer players there are on your level.
The biggest amount of people are on 1–5 levels and the more experience you rack up, the fewer players you meet but those players that you do meet, they are so similar to your character that it feels like you know them for a lifetime. It’s because they did the same quests as you, understood how difficult it was to get here and how much it took them to get where they are.
The rewards they receive from that are enormous because only a few dare to grow to the highest levels where only a couple reside. The rewards range from unique quests and missions to joint raids to shiny objects with which you strut around.
And this is what high level-low level dynamic is.
That guy isn’t better or worse than me, he just plays the game on a whole different level. He is, in fact, more developed than me.
You decide how much you want to grow because life gives you both quests and tasks that keep you on your level but it also presents missions and challenges that move you from your comfort zone and bring you on a whole different level.
The people who have the courage (level 1 skill) to take those missions, end up growing to the next level. And on that next level, they need to learn a new skill to grow even further (like habit building, empathy or negotiating). And on it goes…
So the next time you see, read or hear someone who is “better” than you, just classify it in your head as someone who is more developed than you and keep on working on your quests.
The advice a level 60 gives to a level 5 isn’t going to be applicable in most of the situations — but if you ask a level 60 what they did when they were level 5 to get to level 6, that would be instantly applicable.
If I had the opportunity to sit down for 60 minutes with Elon Musk, I would for sure waste his time completely. Because he can give me an advice on how to get from level 12 to level 13 but 1 million other people can do that. But I waste his knowledge of going from level 92 to 93 which only a handful of people know.
Focus on the level you are currently on and keep developing yourself. Apply the skills that will get you on to the next level and keep at it. Ignore what people 10 levels above and below you do and keep on pushing yourself. Growth is what will help you play the game called life on a much bigger level. And that is what we ultimately want from life.
We don’t want to be better than the other players, we want to be better than ourselves. So keep developing yourself, you will get there.
It’s not about being better or worse than someone else, it’s about being more or less developed and playing the game called life on a bigger or smaller level. You don’t choose where you were placed or on which level you started, but you for sure choose on which level you will finish the game.
The top levels have fewer people there, but those people understand you better than anyone else in the world because they went on the same journey as you did.
The only question remaining is are you going to take that journey?
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You Are Not Better Than Me, Just More Developed was originally published in The Ascent on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.