Daily Blog #308
“Comparison is the thief of all joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt
I knew that I would get to use this quote again! While comparison can often provide us with a greater sense of motivation, have you ever noticed that empty feeling that you get when you compare yourself to others? That’s because you are comparing yourself to the wrong people. There is only one person on this earth that you should ever compare yourself to. And who might that be? Yourself. The only person that you should ever compare yourself to is yourself.
Growing up, I was a pretty competitive person. I wasn’t necessarily good at a lot of the things that I was competing at, but I always had the drive to compete. I basically lived by the quote from the movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” But like most people, I wasn’t comparing myself to the person that I should have been comparing myself to. I was comparing myself to everyone in the world around me instead of comparing myself to me.
Earlier I had said that I wasn’t necessarily good at a lot of the things that I was competing at. This isn’t me bashing myself in any way. It’s the truth. Because I was comparing myself to others instead of trying to improve on my own personal skills, not only did I feel like a failure when I was not the best at something, but I lacked any amount of self-belief because I realized how many things that I was average at best at.
Now I am not saying that competition is wrong, but you shouldn’t need to compete with others in order to feel valuable and worthy in your life. Instead, learn to compete against yourself. Go into everything that you do with one goal – to be 1% better than you were previously. If you can do this, you will achieve more greatness than you could have ever imagined.
Imagine that for a minute. Imagine not caring if you came in first, second, third, or last. Imagine the only thing that you care about is improving on yourself in any way possible. How much more successful do you think you would be if you actually focus on improvement instead of a placing.
Competition against others is deceiving. Use this example for reference. Let’s say that you competed in two races. The first race that you finished, you ran a seven-minute mile and got second place. In the second race that you finished, you got first place but it took you seven minutes and thirty seconds. But while you were celebrating the feeling of being victorious, you completely forgot to acknowledge the fact that you were thirty seconds slower. So while you were led to believe that you won, you did not improve. In fact, your results show the exact opposite if improvement.
See what this can lead to? That is why if you want to improve your life, then the only person that you can compare yourself to is you. Don’t focus on the meaningless results of the world around you. Focus on doing what you can do to better yourself. Focus on being one second faster, one decision wiser, and one percent better than you were yesterday. Improving yourself on a daily basis will lead to far greater results over time. Sure, it is not going to be a quick path to success, but it will create lasting improvements over the course of your life.
Bettering yourself will do more good in your life than any competition or award will ever reflect. You don’t need to be better in the eyes of others. You just need to be better in your own eyes. So only compare yourself to the person that you were yesterday. Focus on doing the things that you can do in order to live a better life, embrace all of your many imperfections, and improve on the person that you are each and every day.
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