Why You Feel Behind in Life

Table of Contents

At the ripe young age of 29 years old I decided to leave New York to start a brand new life in Colombia.

At the time, my peers all seemed to be racing through stable, high paying careers and living in swanky manhattan penthouses –

While I had just given up my career to start from scratch as a freelance web designer, and was now living in small bedroom of an apartment I shared with 4 other people

…. and I did NOT feel behind in life at all…  like, not even a tiny bit….

I felt like I was EXACTLY where I should be.

It’s now been 8 years since I arrived in Colombia – 8 years filled with amazing successes and incredible adventures –

And so it was… I guess ‘surprising’… when only a few months ago –  I started to feel extremely behind in life. 

It was like a dark, heavily insulting cloud that followed me everywhere- 

while I worked:

cloud: you started this business 10 years ago, WHY isn’t it bigger?

while I trained:

cloud: you’re 37 f*cking years old man, give it up

while I spent time with my girl:

cloud:  if you have kids now you’ll be a thousand f*cking years old by the time they take their first steps

And that same dark cloud would insult me AND rain down on me whenever i saw someone way younger than me who had already achieved something that i was  struggling to achieve for myself

(Cloud: that kids balls haven’t even dropped and he’s already got more money than you’ll ever have)

Anyway – as SOON  as I realized that this was happening – I got to work

and I’m happy to report that I’ve figured out

1) WHY this was happening, and WHY this seems to happen with pretty much everyone I talk to – (this was EXTREMELY surprising and not what I had originally expected)

And 2) how I could use my brain to make make these feelings work FOR me.

In this video, I’m going to summarize what I discovered – so if you’re someone who feels ‘behind in life’… well – let’s fix that

1. Social Comparison

Ok so let’s start with the basics. The feeling of being behind in life is 100% ROOTED in the comparisons we make between ourselves and others.

Think of it this way – if a meteor were to slam into earth tomorrow and wipe out everyone EXCEPT us – there wouldn’t BE anyone else for us to compare ourselves to.

But for better or worse, mankind still exists – and with respect to how we all feel with where we’re at in life – we exist on the same spectrum.

Here at the leftmost point of the spectrum are those of us who endlessly compare ourselves to others –

fixating on the best qualities of others while completely disregarding our own.

Here on rightmost point of the spectrum are those of us who are COMPLETELY on our own path –

where the only comparisons we make are in relation to who we were yesterday, and who we COULD be tomorrow.

If you’re wondering why we  wouldn’t like to be all the way to the right, it’s because to exist here would literally mean to have 0 comparisons with others –

And the only way to escape comparing ourselves with others would be to completely reject society…

To move to the woods and become a hermit – where we would train martial arts on 10,000 year old trees – bathe in majestic waterfalls – and then either starve to death or get eaten by a bear…

So yeah, most of us would like to be roughly here.

Because we still want to exist within society, within the game so to speak, but in a way where we only compare ourselves in healthy ways to others – like we are designed to do biologically.

Now I know there are lots of young people watching who have been brainwashed to believe that all comparisons are bad…  but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Human, like most animals, exist in hierarchies – and ‘comparison’ is the ENTIRE basis of how we position ourselves within those hierarchies.

Within traditional human societal hierarchies, it’s HEALTHY to look at someone who has achieved success, or who has a great relationship, or…  who just generally seems happy… and to not only want, but to aspire to have those things for ourselves.

Again, where this all becomes a problem is…. Well… mostly just.

2. Social Media

Unlike the social hierarchies of old, we’re no longer just comparing ourselves to the 50 people in our tribe, or the 150 people in our small fishing village, or the 850 people in our highschool…

We’re now comparing ourselves with the  billions of  people on Instagram  and Tik Tok.

And algorithms take ALL of the outliers – all of the 16 year olds with lambos and multi-million dollar businesses, and push them to the top of our feeds

AND we’re not even making 1:1 comparisons – we’re comparing our OUR imperfect  human realities to THEIR impeccably curated digital projections.

AND then for some reason, we’re ADDICTED to these comparisons, spending over 5 HOURS PER DAY ON AVERAGE scrolling through feeds and endlessly consuming videos.

We’ve come a long f*cking way from cave paintings… in a REALLY short period of time.

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is a simple system designed to help you achieve a specific goal by facilitating the development of relevant habits and creating the perfect environment to make failure impossible.

This guide is about actually walking the path. It creates a perfect environment devoid of excuses and forces you to face who you are and what you need to do in a way that’s sustainable.

3. Why we actually feel behind in life

Anyway – so I’m 37 years old now, and while I’ve worked more than anyone else I know over the past decade- THIS year in particular is one where I’ve worked harder than ever.

I’ve only gone out one night this entire year –  not a single saturday or sunday has passed where I haven’t worked for at least 8 hours.

I’ve been making massive investments into my business – which has made this year the first year where I’ve incurred significant debt –

And after years of planning and setbacks – I finally launched  my English YouTube channel – where I’m currently working with an entire team and spending over 40 hours of my own time every week… to produce videos that are only getting a few hundred views each.

Now here’s the thing – my rational brain UNDERSTANDS the game.. which is WHY I’m making these investments in the first place – because I KNOW they’ll pay off in the long term.

Heck, I would bet my LIFE that they’ll pay off in less than a year.

But despite KNOWING these things – my rational brain is simply no match for social media – where I’m constantly exposed to people who are way younger and seem to work far less and achieve  SO much more than me.

And when I look back to the 29 year old version of myself, who could have easily felt behind in life but didn’t –

and compare him to the modern day, 37 year old version of myself, who definitely shouldn’t feel behind in life but still did –

The KEY difference was in how much more time the 37 year old version of myself was spending on Social Media.

Now In my defense, having just launched my English YouTube channel it’s been important for me to watch lots of videos to be able to understand trends and editing strategies, and to spend more time on instagram building my community and sharing personal experiences with those who consider me a friend or older brother … (follow me on instagram: @nelsonquest)

But yeah – the ‘side’ effect of this has been CONSTANT exposure to lots of people who seem to be  WAY ahead of me, which naturally… makes me way feel behind.

So the way I finally STOPPED  feeling so behind in life wasn’t by just getting off of social media… because I want to be able to watch YouTube videos and engage with you guys…  just without, you know, completely ruining my life-

The solution was actually to…

4. Rationalize

Use my rational brain to take control of what was a completely out-of-control situation.

So MY solution to all of this was at the bottom of the following 3 questions:

Question 1. Is it fair to compare myself to the algorithmically selected outliers among billions of other people?

Answer: no. This is silly – and when I look at things this way… RATIONALLY… they don’t affect me negatively.

Another trick here with social media – I try to limit my usage to ‘goal-oriented’ activities related to things I’m working on

Because it’s only really when I use my phone ‘mindlessly’ where I start to get into trouble

Question 2. Should I compare myself to others? 

Answer: Yeah of course. I’m not a hermit nor do I desire to be one – I’m here to play the game and it’s healthy for me to look at others who have achieved things that I want to achieve and to use them as models – to learn from them –

And to want the best for them, because when I look closely, I should see MYSELF in them.

Question 3. …Should I feel behind in life? 

Well, it depends.

If I’m wasting time and not doing the things I know I should be doing – then yeah, I SHOULD feel behind… I don’t deserve to feel any other way… plus I work better when I’m under the right amount of pressure.

But when I’m doing the things that I know will move me forward along my unique path  – while using my rational brain and avoiding non-goal oriented social media usage…

I feel like I am EXACTLY where I need to be.

If you’re someone who feels behind in life – take some time right now to consider the 3 questions for yourself –

If this article helped you out, please subscribe to my YOUTUBE Channel.

This is the path –


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