Comparisons, the thief of all joy

Daniel Pink is a significant thought leader, and a multi New York Times best selling author.

Comparison is the thief of joy“One evening 17 years ago, when I was promoting my first book, I arrived at a Barnes & Noble store near Las Vegas at about 6:15 for a 7:00 book talk. As a first-time author, I was pumped — especially when I saw that the booksellers had set out about 50 chairs in neat rows for the many Nevadans they expected to attend.

By the time 7pm rolled around, the audience had filled in — 3 people and 47 empty chairs. Bummer. But I steeled myself, approached the podium, and began talking about the book with all the gusto I could muster. Within minutes, one of the three attendees stood up, said, “I’m sorry. I’m in the wrong place” — and departed. Ten minutes later, one of the two remaining people left, leaving me with an audience of exactly one guy who bought precisely zero books.” – Daniel Pink

Comparison is the thief of joy

It’s a great story because it reminds us that when we start, we all start from the same place.

Yet, when we compare ourselves to someone else (often coming up short in the process), we compare our starting position with that person’s current position.

All that comparison does is inform us how much we’re not doing. Or how far we are from where we want to be.

The comparison steals the joy and pride of where you are at present, and how much YOU have achieved to date.

It also conveniently omits the journey that the other person has been on to get from the room filled with empty chairs to being on the New York Times bestselling list.

Key Takeaways

  • Use other’s achievements as inspiration – to drive and spur you on.
  • But not as a whipping post for what you haven’t achieved.
  • Use other’s achievements as proof that you too can achieve. That it IS possible with effort and hard work.
  • Not to tell yourself that you’re a loser because you’re not yet on the New York Times best seller list.
  • If you want something more or different – use that energy to work out a plan to achieve that. It is energy better spent than self flagellating your lack of achievement or progress.

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