Compare At Your Own Risk

Moments after Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Championship, the GOAT debate raged on. Who’s the greatest of all time? Lebron or Jordan?

I understand the banter — but why do we have to compare? Is it possible to simply appreciate their unique greatness? Can we at least for a moment enjoy the performance?

I have twin boys. It’s nearly impossible not to compare them. One of them walks first — alright, let’s get the other guy going. One talks more — is there something wrong with the other? One is more advanced in some areas — but does his brother need extra attention? 

Parenting twins is interesting. The input they experience is identical. Same diets. Same sleep schedules. Same toys. Same activities. Same clothes. Same parents. Same everything! 

But my two guys could not be more different. Physically, they don’t even look like brothers. Yet it’s their personalities, emotions, and interests that differ even more. 

And it’s these differences that often unfortunately magnify my habit of comparison. The tough reality? When I’m comparing, I’m not parenting. I’m judging and analyzing. I’m not leading or guiding. 

Mostly, when we compare, we lose the ability to enjoy or appreciate the people who we’re comparing — including ourselves. Perhaps it’s for that reason President Theodore Roosevelt quoted, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Comparison isn’t entirely bad. But is it ever good if our perspective is that one’s gain must mean loss for another? Does every success require a failure?

I know this – when I stepped on the basketball court, I was often surrounded by superior athletes. But it NEVER benefited me to believe their strengths took away from what I brought. 

Lebron’s 4th title doesn’t diminish Jordan’s 6 rings. Andrew’s first steps had nothing to do with Malachi’s progress. 

It’s natural to look in the mirror and see my flaws. It’s normal to scroll through social media and see another’s achievements.

We were not made to compare and contrast. Each of us has our own unique gifts and abilities. Be inspired from others, but never judge yourself based on where someone else is.

Run your own race. Cheer others on in theirs. And enjoy the ride.

This weeks workout message was “Compete don’t compare.”

I saw this from Lewis Howes which I love!

“Your competition isn’t other people. Your competition is your procrastination. Your ego. The unhealthy food you’re consuming, the knowledge you neglect. The negative behavior you are nurturing & your lack of creativity. Compete against that.”

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