Loren Long is a friend and neighbor who also happens to be aNew York Timesbestselling author and illustrator of children’s books. He once told me that when he was in his twenties, he would see some of his peers doing things like buying nice cars and houses, getting promotions, and checking off all the boxes that many people believe to be the milestones of a happy, productive life. Meanwhile, he felt a bit stuck in his career, and even though he was successful at his work, he struggled with the comparison that inevitably resulted from seeing others on a more traditional career path. In retrospect, he was obviously making the right decisions by pursuing a career he loved, but in the moment it felt a lot like he was falling behind.
It can feel like you are running out of time when your only basis of comparison is what others are doing. You are not running out of time. You might simply be on a different schedule.
Your only job today—and every day—is to pour yourself fully into the work that is being called out of you. You are not responsible for what others do or choose but only for how you engage your work today.
Today, pour yourself into work that you care about. Choose to build a body of work you will be proud of. Let others worry about comparison.
You are not running out of time.
Is there any place where comparison causes you to feel like you’re falling behind or running out of time?