THE BLOG
01/25/2016 12:01 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

A Comparison Is the Thief of Joy

When it comes to comparing, I am the worst offender. I look at what other people have, their career, material goods, or more time, and I often wonder what it would be like if I had those things.

One of the best pieces of advice comes from Jon Acuff's book Quitter. "Never compare your beginning to someone else's middle." This is true when it comes to every aspect of life.

Running
I hate running. This image could not describe me any better.

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I decided awhile ago I was going to start running. Running seems to be trendy where I live, so why not me? I told my husband this and he laughed at me. I thought "It can't be that hard. Look at everyone else doing it."

Then I ran an 1/8 of a mile.

And I gave up. (Disclaimer-I was never really "in it" to begin with).

Why would I even try to do something I didn't like to begin with?

Comparison in All Areas of Life

This is true for other aspects of my life.

I want to be further along in my career.

I want to provide better financially for my family.

I want more time with my family.

I want a bigger house.

I want a nicer car.

I want the awesome website.

I want the coaching and consulting business.

When I see where others already are, I become discouraged. If someone else is already doing it, why should I even try? I want to be where they are without the time or effort they have put in. And this thought processes steals the joy from where I am at now. It steals the joy from learning from my own process.

As Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Comparison is the thief of joy."

There is Only One You

I'm reminded no one has the same worldview, experiences, personality, skill set and strengths as I do. This is why the world needs my voice, needs my dreams, needs my skill set. This is why the world needs yours. There is no one who is exactly like you and can offer the world what you have to offer.

If you are just starting out on your dream job, don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle. You have no idea the time, effort, blood, sweat and tears they have sacrificed to be where they are now.

There may be a book written on the subject you want to write on, but it's not written with your voice.
Don't compare your theoretical book to the books already written. The world needs your words.

Don't compare your artistic ability to other artists. They don't have your talent or eye. The world needs your drawings.

Don't compare your IT skills to the person who has been building websites for years. The world needs your service.

Don't let comparison be what is stopping you from pursuing your dream and living a purposeful life. The world needs your dream.

Often, when we compare, we become paralyzed and never start.

Get Started Today
Don't put off what you can start today. If you want to chase your dream, it won't always be easy, but in the end, it will be worth it. Decide what you want, create an action plan, give yourself deadlines, and work your tail off to make it happen. It doesn't have to be perfect, you just have to start.

As Dr. Suess says "Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You."

The world needs you. So stop comparing, pursue a life of adventure, and take back your joy.