As human beings, we never make decisions in a void. The only way we assign a value for something new is by comparing it’s worth to something we already do know.
Let’s imagine we climb Mount K2, the 2nd tallest mountain in the world. If our immediate friend’s circle have never managed to scale a peak of that height, we’d likely be feeling good about ourselves. If, however, our immediate group of friends have all climbed Mount Everest, the chances are that we wouldn’t be feeling all that great. In fact, we might even feel inadequate.
The big problem with making these comparisons is that the act of continuously doing so only breeds insecurity. And happiness rarely exists (happily) alongside insecurity.
I guess what helps is accepting at some level that there are always going to be better, smarter and luckier folks around us. That’s just the way of life. And that’s not the case in absolutes either. They may be better, smarter and luckier in our eyes and not in their own. Better, best etc are all relative after all.
What we can be the best at, then, is obvious. We almost have a fiduciary duty to our investors (i.e. ourselves to start with!) to be the best at being ourselves. If all we spend our time thinking about is how to be someone else, then isn’t that a damned sure way of wasting a lifetime?