Yesterday I was watching some videos from my todo list and I caught myself thinking about the internet popularity versus the traditional popularity.
By now, I think you know that there’s ample evidence to prove that comparing yourself against the glorified superheroes of our age is doing more damage than good. Billboards and magazine adverts are edited to look extremely beautiful and not even the models posing in them look that good.
With the new media like Snapchat though, we are led to believe that what we see is happening right in the moment. It is way easier to accept it as reality. While this cannot be disputed and the action really happens in real-time, there are often scripts and rehearsed scenes.
My thought hasn’t actually occurred upon sighting a perfect woman in a video. Rather, it was a guy. And, bear with me, he was pitching his services.
Just like with this flawless door-to-door salesman, it is easy to start comparing yourself against this kind of people. You are not going to be as funny as them, energetic, stylish, smart, or insert another quality here. However, these are the exceptions. How many people compare themselves against Usain Bolt when they run? How many footballers compare themselves against Cristiano Ronaldo? Unless you play the top league, there is no point in doing that.
Ironically, the best performers rarely compare themselves against each other. The people who compare themselves against the top performers are usually in the middle of the pack at best. Comparing yourself against those far ahead of you is contra-productive.
Let’s say we are starting a new social networking app. It is very easy to compare our growth against Facebook. But that’s an exception. You wouldn’t compare any scientific measurement against the rare events. If you are putting together a report on global warming, you want to be looking at the trends over time. In this case, Facebook would be one of the Ice Ages.
So if you catch yourself comparing yourself against somebody seemingly flawless, please remind yourself of this - you are doing just fine. Keep your eyes on the ball and do your own thing. Comparison will be only distracting you from achieving your goals.
Note: I still do it though.