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Less Than.

Everyone has had a moment when they look at the perceived competition and think to themselves, “I am less than…” The problem is, there is nothing you can do about the competition. You can only do something about yourself. Some people are born faster, taller, stronger, smarter, more artistic, or whatever measure you’re picking, than you are. Than I am. The great swath of humanity is very different from one another and the odds of us being the best at any one thing are slimmer than slim. That’s why it doesn’t matter what the competition does. There is only one person you have to worry about being less than. Are you less than the person you could have been today? We all know this in our hearts when we have honest moments. 

Who is more impressive? A man who is worth ten million dollars, has a successful banking career, and is respected by coworkers for his skill. But that same man is a terrible father, doesn’t see his daughter, is rude to his neighbors, hides that he could have gotten his master’s degree but dropped out of college because he got addicted to video games, and fails to hit the gym, ever, and is staring down a triple bypass by fifty. He gets liposuction to hide the poor diet, but it doesn’t make his arteries more fit. He looks greater than those around him, but he is so much less than what he could have been. He diminishes each day compared to who he could be.

 

Or. A woman is a good electrician. It doesn’t come easy to her, but she works hard every day, gets a little better over time. She runs a fair business, is always on time, tells customers what she is doing, and takes pride that she services almost half the apartments in her complex, and keeps the place running. She just got married, and she and her husband get along well. They aren’t the fittest in their CrossFit, but they enjoy sweating it out together and both are trying to learn to cook together from cookbooks. Each night they read together, learning something, and each day she goes to bed satisfied that she did the best she could with her sixteen waking hours. Nobody will notice how rich she is, or how fit she is or how things work the way they are supposed to work because every day she goes about her job. She is more than the person the day before. She strives.

 

It’s easier to compare ourselves to others because comparing ourselves to ourselves hurts more when we fail. It leads to “I should have,” when we didn’t, and often there is nobody else to blame. When we compare ourselves to others, we say “They had it easier because they had XYZ.” We don’t stop to think maybe they outworked us. Maybe they were genetically gifted. Maybe we did not do our part. Stop comparing to others who you cannot control. Compare to you. There isn’t even a reason to worry about what you didn’t do yesterday. Yesterday is gone, and you can’t change it. Worry about today. Worry about tomorrow. Do and plan. The only person you should be worried about being less than is the potential you of today. Did you fall short? Then try again harder tomorrow, and don’t worry about the external competition of today, and don’t worry about the you of yesterday.


Strive.

Be greater than.

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