Mike Slaats

Stop comparing yourself (focus on becoming better instead of more)

focus on you

This is the first post of 2022, so, first of all, happy new year to you all! I hope you had an amazing holiday, and let’s hope for a healthy and successful 2022.

Speaking of the Holidays. Getting together with friends and family is almost always a guarantee for, well, in some cases a fight, but in most cases, at least an intensive discussion, right? And this can be about anything, but, in most cases, these fights or discussions happen because of our lack of empathy or, as Socrates, the great Greek philosopher used to say: “Envy is the ulcer of the soul”, meaning that we can easily become negatively affected by the success of others. When we, internally, compare ourselves to others, it basically overshadows what we actually wanna become and what our own intrinsic goals are in life.

We often feel this societal pressure to keep up with others. And not only with like your friends or your best friend who’s building a successful business, I mean, a lot of people also look at great entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs or look up to bigger companies in their own space and they think this is what it is to have success.

Start accepting, stop comparing

Now, the big giveaway here is that you need to start accepting that it’s ok to have slower growth and you need to stop comparing yourself to others because it will take your focus off your work, your business, and your customers. If you’re focusing too much on the path of someone else, you’ll start forgetting about your own.

Often, envy is a feeling based on a false comparison. I mean, you see these indie hackers and other businesses sharing their revenue in public, and you might think “they’re doing great”. But don’t forget about the fact that you often see just a small part of the picture. Who knows that same business has a burn rate that it is fighting with or is unprofitable and basically bankrupt once that VC money runs out.

The point is: Just don’t compare and focus on your own path. Focus on what’s in your control.

Mudita: Delight in the good fortunes or the accomplishments of others

The other day I read about an ancient word from the Indian Pali language called “Mudita” which means “to delight in the good fortunes or the accomplishments of others” which is basically the opposite of envy, right?

Mudita can be very useful, not only in your private life but also in business. When we learn to be open to the insight that others have their own business successes which we will appreciate and learn from but will not be affected by in building our own, we can truly start focusing on moving forward in becoming better instead of always wanting more.