Like many others, I’ve struggled recently with comparing myself to others. Although I do my best to not do this, it feels almost impossible to do sometimes, especially when it comes to the feeling of doing a great job, and not necessarily seeing the results from it.
One of my favorite authors and overall personalities is that of the great Richard Feynman. If you’re not familiar with Feynman, I would highly recommend you take a minute or watch a few of his interviews or ideas, and you’ll be hooked.
One such story of Feynman comes around the time he was feeling a bit roadblocked after winning a Nobel Prize. He had feelings of not being creative enough or relevant in the field to make more outstanding contributions.
He had mentioned that he found many other people to be smarter, luckier, and even more ambitious than he thought of himself to be. Yet while talking to one of his close colleagues and friends, his friend mentioned the word “Disregard”, to which his brain sparked up like a light on Christmas Eve.
The one thing he had forgotten, and what he had been doing his whole career was disregarding others, and focusing on your own work and life. This pushed him to receive a National Medal of Science award, and soon after he pinpointed the sole reason for the Challenger space disaster. His work of creating a tool known as Feynman diagrams which brought him the Nobel Prize in 1965, allowed many to disregard others and make strides in topics like Quantum Gravity, String Theory, and M-Theory.
By focusing on yourself instead of others in this so called Rat Race of life we live in, you don’t have to care about what other people think. In Feynman’s words,
You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.
Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by others. More importantly, don’t fool yourself as you’re the easiest person to fool. Focus on what you want from life, and disregard others. Really, what do you care what other people think?