Comparison is the Thief of Joy

At a recent Stanford Business School reunion, the alumni asked to visit with legendary professor Irv Grousbeck and (far less legendary) me. One of their questions to us was “who do you compare yourself to?” I took a first shot at answering by saying, “Well, Mitt Romney was my undergraduate classmate and Ray Dalio my business school study group mate, so whenever I think about this question I feel bad.”

Irv went next and replied simply, “I don’t do comparisons. As Teddy Roosevelt said, ‘Comparison is the thief of joy.’” And I quickly found myself comparing my answer to his and feeling bad!

By Joel Peterson