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  • Do you ever look at the lives of people around you and say, “Man, I wish that was me.”

  • You know you do.

  • Everybody does, but I bet you never compared yourself to me.

  • Haven't heard of me?

  • I do have my own TV show -- in the middle of the night.

  • When I started I wanted to be as big as Jerry Seinfeld.

  • I'm not.

  • And yet, I'm a pretty happy guy.

  • Here's why.

  • I stopped comparing myself to other people.

  • Seriously, that's the whole trick.

  • Here's what I mean.

  • If my happiness were based on being the biggest comedian in the business, I'd be mad at whoever

  • was getting more Netflix specials than me.

  • (I have zero.)

  • If it were based on having the best TV ratings, I'd be mad at Jimmy Fallon. He beats me every night.

  • And if it were based on being rich, I'd be mad at a lot of people.

  • And even if I were rich, really rich like #10 on the Forbes 400 rich, I'd be mad that

  • there were nine other people richer than me.

  • It never ends.

  • Comparing yourself to others creates a totally unrealistic measure for what constitutes success.

  • And I know because the entertainment business is all about unrealistic expectations.

  • All through my career I'd meet with satisfied customers after my shows and they'd say.

  • Hey, you're goodmaybe someday you'll be successful like Jerry Seinfeld.”

  • He's the measure of success?

  • The top guy?

  • When someone tells you they're a doctor, you don't say, “Well, maybe someday you'll cure

  • a disease and save millions of lives, just like Jonas Salk did for polio.”

  • Or a lawyer: “Oh, wow, so what's your ultimate goal, the Supreme Court?”

  • Do you see how crazy that sounds?

  • Professional success is about making a living, pursuing excellence, and finding meaning in

  • what you do.

  • When I first started doing standup, I was a nobody.

  • It took more than a decade of playing in front of tuned out crowds

  • before it started paying the bills.

  • Ten years is a long time to tell jokes for no money to people who aren't laughing.

  • In those days, I spent a lot of time thinking about the comedians I admired.

  • The guys at the top.

  • I wanted those big, sold out houses I wasn't playing.

  • The big paydays I wasn't making.

  • The TV specials I wasn't doing.

  • And not just their success, their talent.

  • I'd look at comics like George Carlin, Robin Williams and Louis C.K.

  • They were all able to turn their dark, personal struggles into brilliant comedy.

  • I envy their talent, but I wouldn't want the dark personal struggles that went along with it.

  • If you don't factor in everything, about whoever you're comparing yourself to, you're playing

  • a sort of mix-and-match game that doesn't exist in the real world.

  • Here's one of life's little truths - everyone is a package deal.

  • You can't view one element of someone else's life in isolation. That's cheating.

  • You can't say, “I want Louis C.K.'s money and fame, Jay Leno's car collection

  • and Tom Shillue's wife and kids.”

  • That person doesn't exist!

  • If he did, he'd be pretty cool.

  • I'd definitely want to hang with him.

  • Everyone has pain in their lives.

  • Think of anybody who you know really well.

  • You know the awful stuff they've had to deal with - the demons they battle.

  • How many dead rock stars, movie stars and, yes, comedians does it take to convince us

  • all that everyone's life is hard?

  • Face it, you really don't want somebody else's life.

  • You want your own life -- only better.

  • But that's the thing.

  • You can make your life better by not doing somethingcomparing yourself to other people.

  • Back when I was a nobody I wanted to sell out the biggest venues and have a prime time

  • TV show with millions of viewers.

  • Now I sell out small venues and I'm on in the middle of the night with half a million viewers.

  • And I appreciate every one of them.

  • I guess when I compare myself now to myself then, I'm doing okay.

  • You should try it.

  • I'm Tom Shillue for Prager University.

Do you ever look at the lives of people around you and say, “Man, I wish that was me.”

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Don't Compare Yourself to Others

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    Hauterier posted on 2018/01/17
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