Brain Food #595

The comparison trap

Thoughts of the day

A short thought for today, as we push through the midpoint of another week.

There is a quote that goes, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

Often attributed to Ernest Hemingway, though their real origin seems to be from a lecture given by academic W.L. Sheldon, the words still ring true, no matter who spoke them.

What is more interesting than the message of this thought is its prevalence, its persistence across time and minds. A reminder that we are not the only ones comparing, that there may even be someone else out there comparing themselves to you, unaware of what goes through your own troubled mind.

We have imperfect information, in a world that promotes the perpetual projection of success through all available means. The next time you are tempted to compare yourself to another, remember that the true comparison should only be against the only person you can have full knowledge of.