“Comparison is the thief of joy,” Theodore Roosevelt
How do you respond when you hit a milestone in your business? Do celebrate when you hit a milestone in your business? Or do you compare what others have done to your accomplishments?
Roosevelt’s quote is true. When we focus our time and attention on what others are doing, we rob ourselves of the opportunity to celebrate our wins.
April 2021 Favorites Files
If you have been following my podcast for long, you know that the last episode of each month is a summary of the highlights from the last month. Shortly after episode 87 was released, The Pursuit of Purpose hit 5000 total downloads. While this is an exciting milestone to celebrate, it also got me thinking about how many of us would look at this as a point of comparison.
When I first started this show, I watched the download counts closely… and often. And as a member of a few podcasting Facebook groups, I was seeing posts about how other shows were doing with their downloads – many achieving numbers that were far outside of what I was reaching.
This comparsion led to frustration, imposter syndrome and constant questions of what I could be doing differently or better. Why couldn’t I achieve the same numbers these other shows were? Finally one my first guests told me – don’t obsess over the numbers.
My show is just that – my show. It is my audience, my goals, my objectives, which is different that everyone elses. I needed to see that and until I did I wouldn’t be able to celebrate my own success.
Small steps rather than big changes
We can all agree that healthcare costs are through the roof – a hot mess, as Freakonomics called it in a recent podcast epidose. While I highly recommend listening to this episode (and the one that followed on the kidney dialysis business), it was an idea that closed out the episode that has stayed top of mind.
What if we focused on the little things rather than the big things? In healthcare, what if we focused on changes that could make an impact on one percent of the costs. And on several changes rather than a single, BIG change. Those small changes would take less time to make an impact. And when we accomplished multiple in a shorter timeframe, we might be able to make a bigger impact on controlling costs than if we tried to make a big change.
This concept can work in our own businesses too. I’ve heard it called low hanging fruit. Get a few quick wins and make a bigger impact. Change the mindset from impossible to possible. Be more efficient. It is worth considering.
Reflection on a leader
My high school history and government teacher recently passed away. He was also the long-time coach and athletic director at the school as well as an alumnus.
“Leadership is not about being in charge. It is about taking care of those in your charge.” Simon Sinek
Truth be told, I always just looked at him as another person I’d known my whole life. Someone who was always there. Until hearing the countless stories told about him and the compassion, the mentoring, the time he showed so many, I’d never thought of him as a leader.
I think it is easy to overlook those ideas or only see someone through the lens in which you know them. For me he was a teacher and someone I associated with the golf course. I didn’t know him as a coach – other than to know that was part of his role in the school.
I challenge you to step back and look at those who you’ve known for a long time – do they possess the traits of a leader and you haven’t recognized them? Are you giving them enough credit for their skills, abilities, and talents? Are you taking them for granted?
Resource mentioned in this episode
- Why comparison is the thief of joy
- How to fix the hot mess of US healthcare, Freakonomics radio
- Is dialysis a test cast for Medicare for all? Freakonomics radio
- The Pursuit of Purpose archive