I am not quite sure when it started for me but I am here to say, if you are doing this, stop. Stop cold turkey. It adds zero value to anything and can actually be quite depressing. If you read what I wrote a few days ago in the story, “Go Talk To Someone,” you will know where I am coming from.
One day I was watching the T.V. show Bonanza. My grandpa loved that show and so I started watching and getting into it. Until one day that left me speechless. I looked up the actor Lorne Greene to see how hold he was in this certain episode and I wish I never did. Lorne Greene looked 75 in this show, but at the time it was made, he was 48. I was two years older than he was. I could not believe it.
I had done this before with many other actors and got the same result. How am I older now than they were in that episode and they look at least twenty five years older?
Recently, a friend of mine posted that he wished he had also never done this. He was watching an episode of Barney Miller and looked up to see how old Abe Vigoda was. He was shocked that he was older than Abe was at that time and he said the same thing. Why did I do this?
I am not sure women do this but I know a lot of men do. With athletes, politicians, celebrities and on and on. It can also be done with family members. I used to compare my age with my grandpa on what he was doing in his life at the same age. Heck, I did it with my mom and you know what it did for me? Absolutely nothing.
We all chart our own path and to compare to another’s is just plain dumb. It is and it took me a long time to figure it out. Then I read this quote one night and it shook me. “God designed you perfectly for the purpose he had for you.”
Read that again. “God designed you perfectly for the purpose he had for you.” Stop comparing, Joe. Stop. Yes, sometimes I need to talk to myself in the third person and it helps. We all know the old saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Heck, Mark Twain felt more strongly about it, substituting the word death for thief.
So what started with me wanting to see how old a certain anchor was compared to where I am, was not helpful at all. I started doing it with other actors which is just complete insanity. Once I realized how unhealthy that was, I stopped. Cold.
You have an unique purpose on this earth and I pray that you find it. You know what? I am pretty sure you already know what it is and are striving to be that person God wanted you to be. When you start that comparison though, you can go down a rabbit hole of of feeling so inadequate that you just dig a deeper hole. Until someone throws you a rope and you climb out of it. Best part of that is that someone will throw you that rope, you just have to believe.
I have written before, how it is so therapeutic and wonderful to congratulate someone on their successes and really be genuine about it. I go a step further and say I can’t succeed unless you succeed. It is easy to do.
Thank you, Lorne Greene, because I will never ask again, “How old is he?” Because when it is all said and done, it does not matter at all.