Rcently had a fairly lengthy conversation with a close friend and one of the subjects was essentially on motivation. When you start doing work and you see someone else far ahead of you technically, you can become discouraged very quickly. Just about all of has taken up some hobby or the other and did our best at it. However, upon viewing a master of that craft’s work, we see how far ahead of our own work that they are and we start to internally vocalize several negative thoughts. “I’ll never be at that level. I might as well not try.” I can go on and on.
Ultimately, I’ve found that that is the wrong attitude to possess since it will keep you from expressing yourself. You are a unique ability and there is only one of you. Therefore, expressing yourself is the one unique thing in life that you can do that no one else can do. What does this have to do with my initial topic concerning comparing technical abilities? A lot. When it comes down to it, unless we are dealing with something strictly quantitative, who is the best is subjective. What one person likes, another one will hate and vice-versa. Now the importance of this is that we easily get caught up in technical comparisons, but although someone else’s work may be technically better than yours, you will have someone feeling your work more than theirs because they can relate to it more. You would be doing them and the world a disservice by not expressing yourself through your skill because you got discouraged by comparing yourself to someone else on a technical basis.
I find the pursuit of ‘being the best’ a positive thing in many regards, but it can also be negative if it causes you to constantly draw comparisons to others and discourages you to pursue what you are pursuing. For instance, who is the greater philosopher, Socrates, Aristotle, or Plato? When it’s said and done, it really doesn’t matter because each men brought forth an intellectual contribution that is unique to them. It’s the same thing with, “Who is the best scientist?” That question has little real value, because different scientists each contributed something unique to their field. It is easy to allow the technical skill gap comparison to discourage us, but you must condition yourself mentally to ignore constant comparisons to others and you should focus on pursuing the path that has been laid out for you. Looking at the work of others should inspire you, not discourage you.
** Via KevM3.Wordpress.com **