This Is the Golf Way. Focus.
You and three of your friends tee off on the first hole. It’s a beautiful Sunday morning. You don’t get to play with these guys often, but today you get to spent four hours or so together on this incredible course.
The first three golfers all hit great shots. Each one does better than the last. Now, it’s your turn. You get ready to swing. You look like a serious golfer. You have the same clothes and the same gear as your friends. But you’re not a serious golfer, are you? You swing and shout a panicked FORE, not to the group in front of you, but to that family playing in their backyard, off to the right. Yikes!
Why are you even here?
And then you realize this isn’t the US Open. You aren’t a great golfer, but you enjoy the tranquility of getting out on the golf course. You enjoy trying to take on a challenge. You enjoy the friendly banter. And while that first shot was embarrassing, your lack of skill doesn’t really matter (assuming you didn’t bonk anybody on the head in their own yard!). In the end, you’re not really playing against these other players. You’re really just looking to beat your own previous best.
The same goes in business. If you started your business last year, you shouldn’t expect to be more profitable than a company that has been around for twenty years. If you are in sales and aren’t number one in your company, that doesn’t make you a bad producer. Sure, there are minimum standards you have to meet to stay in the game, but you don’t have to make the other team lose in order for you to win. This isn’t football. You don’t have to be the best in the field, either. This isn’t the US Open. You just have to focus on being better than you were the day before.
If you try to keep up with the Joneses, the Joneses will always win. There’s always someone at least a little bit more successful than you are, and if there isn’t at the moment, if you really are at the top of your field, someone will come along to best you before long. Comparison is a waste of energy, so stop bothering with it. Focus on your game. Now go find your ball, the other three guys are waiting!!!