I’m passionate about how much time we waste comparing ourselves to others. In fact, in one of my programs, I teach people to “Dare NOT to Compare.” I came across a story that once again illustrates how destructive it can be when we compare ourselves to others. And today, I can add a happy postscript.
After their own chart-topping success, The Beach Boys found themselves competing musically with The Beatles. Beach Boys composer Brian Wilson, already having a difficult time topping The Beatles’ previous album, found himself facing their latest, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The critical acclaim of this album made Wilson, who was already battling drug dependency and mental illness, give up trying.
Here’s the irony. Wilson was unaware that his album Pet Sounds had inspired Sir Paul McCartney’s writing on Sgt. Pepper’s. Sir Paul later said, “It was Pet Sounds that blew me out of the water…I love the album so much.” You see, Wilson was so busy comparing and contrasting, he missed seeing his influence on one of the greatest albums ever made.
Happily, today Brian Wilson is again touring and composing and writing his autobiography. Earlier this year, he received a Grammy Award for Best Historical Album for The SMiLE Sessions, which is a reminder it’s never too late to begin again.
In truth, this “measuring up” struggle is self-imposed. Dare NOT to compare, and go be the best you. From a motivational speaker who is taking a page of her own advice!