Where do we learn all the basics of, well everything? From reading/writing, sports and social norms, its learned and reinforced in school. Our performance is then ranked on a A through F scale. It is only natural thereafter to see how we rank amongst our peers to find our place in the hierarchy.
Just as we take the reading, writing and sports skills with us into adulthood, it is only natural to take the tendency to compare ourselves with others as well. But instead of grades, we use income and assets. With toys and social prestige still being key points.
As was previously mentioned though, “comparisons are the thief of joy.” Yes reading, writing, sports and the like are important, and it is so easy to do everything else same as we do the essentials. It’s the safe steady pass that leads to somewhere in the middle, and there’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s what you want. As adults we must move beyond the standard learn and regurgitate that was the norm in school. Look at things with a critical eye and ask if all the comparing that has been naturally ingrained into us is what we want, or should we do something else.
Something more concrete, Thomas Edison failed 1000 times at inventing the light bulb. During those unsuccessful attempts, he looked foolish too many, just as many modern people look silly when falling on their faces when trying something new. But Edison just needed one success, at one point or another he looked behind. But does he now?
Don’t let someone else’s clock dictate your own.
Kingston S. Lim
March 31, 2020
San Francisco, CA