There are often debates with sports about who is the “Best There’s Ever Been”. In basketball, names like Michael Jordan, Lebron James and Wilt Chamberlain come up often. In soccer, the names are usually Pele or Messi. Muhammad Ali proclaimed himself to be the “greatest of all time”. Many of these conversations are apples to oranges comparisons that are nothing more than opinion. The positive side to these debates is that they give a peak model for the newcomers to follow.
For most of us, we were not born with the necessary tools to be the “best ever” in anything. The books “The Talent Code” and “Outliers” outline many of the factors that contribute to the recipe of greatness. Despite the lack of ingredients, there is no reason for the everyday person to shy away from the thought of greatness. We must reach for rungs on a ladder that we are able to climb effectively. By comparing myself to Messi, I’m setting myself up for failure and disappointment. In order to find true comparative success in anything, there is one basis for comparison – self!
In ourselves we can find both our truest basis for comparison and our best competition. “Never try to be better than someone else. But rather be the best you can be.” is a quote from legendary UCLA coach John Wooden. As we standardize test and rank everything from our number of friends to attractiveness, it seems as though we’ve become obsessed with comparison to others. This obsession moves us farther from the comparison that we really must do in front of a mirror or in our mind’s eye. You don’t need to try to be the best there’s ever been. You only need to be the best you that you’ve ever been.
Go do you!