Comparing yourself to others is crazy – but you already know that!

I’m sure that you have heard of this quote widely attributed to Einstein:

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s whole life believing it’s stupid.”

It’s quite apt in a situation where we tend to compare ourselves to others. Perhaps we don’t think you are stupid, but comparing our lives to others’ is a sign of looking externally for validation of our abilities.

I’ve been in the workforce, as have many others, for longer than I have been in college. Anyone of us can tell you that grades do not matter as far as ability to lead a successful life goes.

To live a successful life, some of the things you need are:

  1. empathy
  2. emotional intelligence, and
  3. an ability and willingness to prioritise the needs of you and those around you
  4. and a host of other things

Ask yourself this question: why are you comparing yourself to others? Is it because it gives you a sense of satisfaction that you have done well? Is it because it’s very important to you that you have a better life than others?

If you answered yes to one or both the questions above – then consider this:

It’s great that you know that grades are important to you and want what they have. You would do well to focus on getting the best life you possibly canComparing can lead to temporary depression and it is just unnecessary stress you don’t really need.

Comparing your life and wanting it to be better than others is like saying: I don’t want to just win, I want others to fail.

Alternatively, compare your life and be happy when you get better grades than others. And when you don’t, make a mental note that you have another chance next time and you’ll do better.

These are the different alternatives you have. No one way of thinking is the best possible thought – life is subjective.

In most of life you will do well if you are able and willing to invest time into what you do. But you will do even better if you are able and willing to take others along with you on your journey.

In my opinion, comparing isn’t necessary. Life is a team game and we, the human kind, are one team.

Thoughts?

PS. I had originally written this as an answer to a quora question on grades. I liked the question so much, and it was so apt to life, that I decided to answer it as a question on life.

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