On comparing yourself to others
Fragments from imaginary dialogues
“Don’t compare yourself to others.”
“Depends how and why you do it.
As concerns the how, it’s a matter of mindset and focus.
Do you compare yourself to others…
with a growth mindset or a fixed mindset?
with an abundance mindset or a scarcity mindset?
Do you believe that you can grow?
And if yes,
do you focus on who you can be or on who you are not?
A passage from Marcus Aurelius comes to mind:
Because a thing is difficult for you, do not therefore suppose it beyond mortal power. On the contrary, if anything is possible and proper for a man to do, assume that it must fall within your own capacity.
Say to yourself always:
If they can, I can.
As concerns the why, comparing yourself to others can be useful. An expression of Artful Living.
Comparison can serve as a memento, a reminder.
Let your betters remind you of who you can be and inspire you to be more.
Let your lessers remind you to appreciate how far you’ve come.
And I include in the latter category the memory of who you were in the past.”
“Do you think ‘lessers’ can be perceived as disparaging?”
“Depends what you compare. I’m comparing ability, not worth.”