“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt
If you’ve ever watched Night at the Museum, you know that Theodore Roosevelt had some great words of wisdom. He became the 26th President of the United States at the age of 42 (I feel so unaccomplished now) and brought to the office a sense of excitement and exploration. He wasn’t always liked, because he was definitely a pioneer – especially in terms of executive power, but I believe he truly had the nation’s people’s best interest at heart. He hiked, he explored, he went on an African safari after his time in office, and at one point he was even shot in the chest and survived. Teddy Roosevelt was not afraid to live and live big.
So, why the talk of Roosevelt? Because unlike most of us, Teddy Roosevelt knew that comparing oneself and one’s accomplishments to others takes away the joy of the achievement. Yes, he was a politician. Yes, he was probably a bit of a smooth talker when he had to be. And yes, history distorts faults, but Theodore Roosevelt strikes me as the kind of person who put his blinders on and dove headfirst into what he believed in to get things done. He didn’t seem to compare his accomplishments with his predecessors. He didn’t seem to worry overly much about how he was perceived. He just did what he needed to do.
Do you put your blinders on or do you compare your accomplishments with those around you? Do you worry that you haven’t lost enough or that you’re not as thin as someone you don’t know on Instagram? Or do you get yourself up early on a Monday morning, turn on that music, and get to work on your own goals?
Stop comparing where you are on your journey to where someone else is on theirs. Put your blinders on and get to work.