Thursday, January 15, 2015

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Compare Not ...

Comparing ourselves to others - although somewhat a natural tendency - can be a corrosive way to live our lives. 
The fundamental fact that we need to embrace is, apart from the very odd exception, there are always others better off than we are or further along the track than we are, in any given aspect of our lives - and likewise, there are those worse off or further behind on the track than we are, in any given aspect of our lives. 
It’s helpful to compare ourselves to others in ways that allow us to identify how we might improve or better our circumstances - but that is very different from bemoaning about or begirding others for succeeding we have yet to succeed. I loathe to say it - but the so-called tall-poppy syndrome is alive and well on the martial arts landscape.
My preference is to spend time in the company of people who are not of this mindset - who rather, applaud and encourage others to be successful, even in those areas where they themselves struggle. Personally, I can say with complete assurance, that I have always admired other people’s success; it is in fact, very difficult for me, to even imagine what it must feel like to envy others - I have never experienced that emotion. 

Each of us has their own strengths and weaknesses, both on and off the mat. Encourage others when they succeed … work quietly on doggedly ourselves in those areas that are important to us …. deny envy, jealousy and tall-poppy thoughts if ever they should arise. We are all unique. JBW

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1 Comments

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I agree with you. I saw this on Liam's blog here: http://parttimegrappler.blogspot.com/2012/07/bjj-grappling-tips-comparing-your-skill.html His article was awesome because it actually dealt with some data on comparing yourself to your group - the dangers of a small sample size. I think he is a statistician or economist or something dealing with numbers, so his take on this was very academic.

I wrote about it as well, but focusing on myself. http://jiujiubjj.com/brazilian-jiu-jitsu/bjj-the-inferiority-complex/ I found that the most defeated I would feel is when I focused on what I SHOULD be able to do, or the "Oh man, why can that white belt do it, but I can't" negative thinking.

For me, I usually use it as ammunition to beat myself up, which is why I try not to do it. It's always there, just in my reach, so I have to focus on NOT doing it.

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