Theodore Roosevelt once said “comparison is the thief of joy.” In these moments of comparison, we wonder how intelligent we are compared to our peers. A better question would be, how stupid am I?
When it comes to making decisions, we often default to the answer that requires the least mental effort. We also excel at noticing the flaws of friends and an incredible inability to spot those same mistakes in ourselves. This suggests we aren’t anywhere near as smart as we think we are.
Ask yourself the following questions, not as a way of attacking yourself but in opening your eyes to your bias and flawed thinking.
Do I spend money I don’t have, on things I don’t need?
Do I repeat the same mistakes, knowing they cause me harm?
Do I avoid doing the things that are good for me?
Do I assume I know best instead of asking for advice?
Do I usually let my emotions guide my decisions instead of rational thought?
Do I fail to prioritise sleep, diet and health?
Do I think I’m better than everyone else?
Am I close minded?
Do I obsess over the lives of celebrities and sports people?
Do I try to impress other people?
Do I get annoyed at things outside of my control?
Do I base my self worth on what I own?
Do I try to hide my flaws?
Do I avoid risk?
Do I fail to listen?
So, how stupid am I?
Where does real success come from? It comes from being satisfied — not because you’ve reached some pinnacle or final destination of success — but satisfied with that constant process of improvement. It’s recognizing that life is riddled with faults and mistakes and appreciating them as much as the successes. Because when you appreciate your faults, they lose their power over you. Instead of your weakness, they become your strength. And ironically, they’ll draw other people into you more than ever before – Mark Manson