I was sitting and eating lunch at a restaurant last week, and I had a piece of food get caught down the wrong pipe. I proceeded into a coughing fit, which lasted an awkwardly long time.
I finally recovered as I could feel the pressure in my eyes as relief was coming my way, and then the fresh air tickled my nose and I started sneezing.
Sneezing generally comes in sets of two or three for me. Soon, though, this episode was over. I looked at my hands and realized that I was in dire need of a napkin. I located one and cleaned myself up. I thought to myself that, to an onlooker, I must have looked like the most disgusting and pitiable person possible.
As I resumed eating my lunch, i was struck by the fact that anybody in a similar situation would look disgusting and pitiable.
Jeff Bezos in the middle of a sneezing fit? Still Rich, but please talk to me later.
LeBron James choking on a McNugget? Take your talents to Hawaii.
I could go on… but the point has been made. I find it really easy to compare myself with others. However, when I look at this activity objectively, I’m often comparing a failure on my part with a success from the other.
Comparing apples to apples when it comes to successes is very difficult, and is best avoided. For example, I was working in the banking industry a couple years back while using my down time to gain the skills necessary to launch my first business. Meanwhile, I had a few friends that were moving to big cities, and getting good paying jobs, living in cool apartments and living what seemed to be the good life. So while my financial success could hardly be compared to my friends, if I were in their position I wouldn’t have been able to make progress towards my goals- of being a business owner and building my own brand.
The only productive person to compare yourself to is *yourself.*
Write out your goals, and work towards them.
The things that others are doing around you should have no influence on your progress and your goals.
You might fail at things.
You might fall short.
You might choke on some food and make yourself a nasty mess. Just remember that even your heroes are human, and they sneeze too.