Comparison: Is it Bad or is it Actually a Good Thing??

aspiration comparison goalsetting ideal self look inwards never give up role model self improvement May 06, 2023


Comparison: Is it Bad or is it Actually a Good Thing??

‘Comparison is a thief in the night that will steal tomorrow’s joy.’ 

But what if we could look at this comparison thing from a different perspective. What if we viewed comparison not as a way to create immense envy but as a way to improve ourselves towards the person we aspire to be like (emphasis on that ‘person’ being the best version of ourselves with a guiding image of someone else)? That would change the game, change our entire outlook on comparison and no longer feel the weight of having to be like someone else but instead embracing the fact that someone else has lit the path ahead for us to follow.

When I made the life pivot towards pursuing to become the best NBA shooting coach who ever lived, I changed my approach. Instead of living in the comparison envy I began to live in the comparison aspiration. Aspiration over envy - the difference in wanting what others have and driving yourself nuts and accepting what others have, learning from what they did to get them to where they are at.  That’s the power of comparison. So, of course I chose the creme de le cream of the NBA shooting coach world, Chip Engelland. And I not only studied everything he did, I hunted him down (not in a stalking way, well I guess sort of)

I knew where I could find Chip, NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. This is basically the off season convention for NBA coaches and personal, everyone attends, and I knew Chip would be there. I had prepared what I was going to say, how I was going to approach him, how I was going to give him praise and name all of the relationships we had in common. I was going to blow him away. Until I actually met him. His advice was short, sharp, and relatively cold. And as most of us would do (which I definitely felt like doing at the time) was to give up. But I realized, ‘If someone is the best at what they do, I can’t be the only one seeking his advice and mentorship. I can’t give up.’  And I didn’t. I would write Chip letters, send him emails, call him and leave him messages just to let him know I was thinking of him and that I was there for him if I could help in any way. 

Finally, two summers later at the same spot in the top corner of Thomas & Mack Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada Chip summoned me. He spoke admiration of my relentlessness and my never-giving-up attitude. (There is a fine line in never giving up and way too suffocating) Chip gave me two hours of his time and poured into me everything he did to get to the spot he was at, the Mt Rushmore of NBA shooting coaches, the perch I aspired to be at.

I didn’t compare myself to Chip and feel bad about what I didn’t have, I compared myself to Chip and decided I would study everything he did. I would bring my own personal flavor to my approach of course, but he was the best of the best for a reason, I wasn’t going to get caught up in the world’s definition of comparison, I was going to compare in my own definition- aspire and learn from the best! We all have this choice we can make daily, do we open up social media and feel bad about ourselves, or do we look at who we want to be like and realize ‘if they can do it, so can I!’  That’s the decision only you can make.


Right now, drop everything and write down who in your life you can 'compare' yourself to that you could see yourself doing the same thing that they are doing. It can be one person or a few, you choose. Now go google search them and study their journey, how did this person get to where they got to? If they can do it, SO CAN YOU!!!!


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