Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Nearly every personality test that I have ever taken shows that I am an extremely "achievement oriented" person. Because I was wired to be a perfectionist, I spend the majority of my time setting high standards for myself. This isn't something that someone taught me, and I was never required to do anything but my best by my parents. (Trust me, I've always been this weird.) Nevertheless, I often find myself working towards elusive goals of perfection that are typically rooted in some sort of comparison. In order to set goals, it's human nature that you benchmark your progress. To do this, we often find another person, situation, or achievement to compare our own performance to. If you're a perfectionist, this natural tendency often gets blown out of proportion. Instead of setting an attainable, measurable goal, we tend to compare our progress to someone who is miles ahead of us. We find the people who have been performing, working, or even living for years longer than us and get worried when we aren't up to their level.

Ultimately, I find myself wondering why I haven't reached the same level of success as someone who has all of the experience, lessons, and patience that go hand in hand with their accomplishments.

Yet, when we spend our time comparing, two things happen. We overlook all of the details that go into achieving something. We simply see the end goal, ignoring the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears that someone else has poured in, and we wonder why we haven't already crossed the finish line, too.  Secondly, we rob ourselves of the chance to pave our own road. When you focus all your time on trying to replicate someone else's journey, you miss out on the experiences that are uniquely yours.

Don't spend all your time and effort trying to reinvent the wheel. You'll never create your own.