“If you have to rely on yourself, you try harder, and when you try harder, you feel bigger” (Margo MacDonald).
If you’re anything like me, I often ask myself, “Is what I’m doing enough for improvement? Could I be doing more?” And it’s very much intimidating to not know the answer.
Yet I’ve come to learn that the very basis of where that question comes from is benefiting me by frequently popping into my head.
That one question makes you and I want to act. It forces us to try and see where we can improve.
I never stopped asking myself that question because if there’s room for improvement, that question will come back to haunt me until I make the effort to find it.
Asking That Question Is A Good Sign
If you are a creative and you make something, you don’t have to compare it to others, but should you?
Frequently in this case, it depends on the medium in which you are acting creatively. However, wondering about others productivity and creations can lead you to a positive path or a negative path and you hold the choice on which it will be.
Analyzing others work is the research backing your own improvement. If you’re actively comparing what you do to others in a creative sense, you’re putting in the analytical work to improve your own creations.
The question turns negative when you see others work and pull out parts of their creation that you could have or should have done to your own. Yet you shouldn’t look at it that way and instead see the room for improvement you have ahead. The could have and should have are really the should try and will attempt the next time you create.
In regards to how hard you are trying compared to others, asking that question probably means you are trying hard or harder than others, because you’re looking for room to improve.
Actively looking at what to change about yourself or your lifestyle to help improve your work might not be as common as it seems. Lots of people are content with what they do, where they are, how much money they make and so on. And if you are making the effort to look around for possibilities and ideas to help change how you perform, you’re doing what most people don’t care to do.
Focusing on improving yourself does involve looking at others, because nothing negative can come from seeing how others create and perform. In a sense, people are research and tested methods that you can look at to see how the outcome will appear.
The Answer To The Question Shouldn’t Matter
Asking the question is the part that is important, because it means you’re putting in the effort to look for improvement.
“Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality of what you have to offer” (Rick Pitino).
Other people’s successes and failures shouldn’t and won’t change you in any negative way. You’re attempting to work on yourself and that is what matters and what will show up in the final product.
Observing other’s successes and failures can and obviously will help you. But be careful in making sure you are comparing work and not yourself. You can change aspects about your work ethic and methods, but not about your personal style in how you manage things. Comparing the seemingly impossible to change aspects that differ you between someone will only bring you frustration, so pay attention to how they do things.
You’re trying to learn new methods to do things, new techniques to creating something. Trying to massively force yourself to just be different when it comes to something like that won’t do you any good.
Remember that there is no answer to the question in regards to what people can tell you. Yes maybe some people are and some are not trying as hard as you or harder. But the answer to the question comes from you.
It’s an introspective question because whatever you feel the answer is will reveal whether you truthfully think you have room for improvement, or if you feel you haven’t been doing as much as you know you can. You are asking that question because your answer leads you to where you want to go.
Don’t Try To Compete, Try To Improve
If what I’ve been saying hasn’t resonated with you, and you ask the question because you want to be harder working than others, I don’t have much of an answer for you.
This should be about yourself. Improving upon yourself is how you get better than others. Not by doing slightly more work than they have been.
If you end up trying to compete, you’re not gaining any improvement if the competition centers around doing more and not learning more.
While one individual may be doing everything they can to make as much as they can as greatly as they can, another individual may be observing before creating. They will be paying attention to what he or she did that worked, what others have done that has worked, and is learning to implement different techniques and practices to improve upon their own work.
Nothing comes from trying to be better than others. But everything can come from trying to learn and understand what others have done that has brought them success.