It’s human nature to measure ourselves relative to others and try to be better. We see competitions today, throughout history, and across the globe designed to determine who’s better in some way. For example, who’s faster, stronger, smarter, more attractive, talented, or creative. However, beyond outright competitions, we calculate these attributes on our own. Next, we take our measurements and compare them to ourselves–to gauge our own value and self-worth.
This quote, by William Faulkner, reminds us to not focus on being better than anyone now or anyone who’ve come before us.
Besides the dangerous and unhealthy aspect of making our self-worth entirely dependent on others, this also robs us from enjoying the best kind of competition–the one with ourselves.
We miss out on the thrill of setting our own target and hitting it, or setting a goal and surpassing it. Or simply, being better today than who we were yesterday.