“Compare yourself only to the person you were yesterday.”
As social creatures, it’s hard not to get swept up in the concept of “others”. They are all around us, almost all the time. They are our friends, our family, strangers, and everyone in between. When we are surrounded by so many different others, it’s hard not to look around us and begin to compare ourselves to them.
Like most things, this comparison has its good and bad. Others can inspire us, motivate us, encourage us to better ourselves. But the comparison also has an ugly side when we critique ourselves negatively because we aren’t as “X” as someone (replace X with whatever you want). It can be discouraging to realize that we aren’t as pretty, or successful, or happy as someone else. But there are a few things that are worth mentioning in this comparison.
First, as perceptive as we may be, we don’t know the whole story about others. The same person you view as more successful as you can be unhappy with where they are. The same person who you view as more physically beautiful can find themselves lacking in non-physical areas. The truth is, we don’t see the whole picture and to assume that everything is going right for everyone else is simply not true.
Second, it’s important to accept that there will always be someone who is better at X than we are. If we select individual attributes, there is always someone who is “better” than someone else in that individual attribute. Taking individual attributes about ourselves is equally dangerous as there is always someone who is “better” in that area. But what this perspective fails to see is the whole package. We aren’t individual bits, we are large wholes. And unfortunately, it’s very difficult to see the whole package that a person is because we will never know their entire history, their entire state of being, and we can never see through their eyes. Without that knowledge we can’t really make a comparison on the whole package, and looking at things individually isn’t constructive either.
The only person that you need to compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday. What did you do yesterday? What would you like to accomplish today? Try and be a better you each and every morning. Accept that you will have good and bad days, but as a whole it is a worthwhile endeavour to try to be better than you were from the day before.
The ONLY purpose comparison can have is to better yourself. Let a person inspire you, or motivate you. Learn from someone better than you in an area. If you must compare, the only basis for that comparison should be self-improvement. Other than that, the only person that you need to compare yourself to is yourself. And even then, if any comparison is to be made, it has to be for the purposes of bettering yourself.
Everyday, try to do something you haven’t done before. Everyday, try to be better in one area of your life than you were the day before. Everyday, try and see things from a new perspective. Challenge yourself to grow and become a better you. Through these small steps in self improvement, becoming the best person you can be can become a reality.