A while ago, I heard Paul McCartney describe the lyric "everybody else is busy doing better than me" from his recent song 'Alligator' in an interview as being a comment on how he'll often look at how his work is perceived in comparison to others and be frustrated by it.
I find this incredibly comforting. If a man who's achieved so much can look at his work and find it wanting, then we're allowed to do it too. It's a part of human nature, magnified by our current Facebook-and-Twitter culture. Everywhere we look, we're confronted by people presenting happier, more contented lives through their social media press releases; smearing Vaseline over the lens before they make their public broadcast. There's someone busy doing better than you, just a mouse-click away.
I wish I could remove myself from this unnecessary comparison and jealously, and see it for what it is: a falsity. But though I'm aware of all of it, I still do it. It's instinctive
There are things you can do to alleviate this. One way is to step away from the technology. This is why I left Facebook a few years back: coming away from it was better for my health.
This might sound strange from someone who blogs so regularly; how can I keep posting this stuff on the Internet when I want to step away from it? The answer is there's somehow a disconnect in my head; I forget that people might read it. It's also quite cunning, as I can selfishly post outwards, without being presented with anything coming back.
There's one thing I'd like to keep in mind: there's no need to take all this compare-and-contrasting so seriously; we're all working in different fields and at different rates, with different start and end points. It's not a race. And if one quarter of the most successful band in history feels he could do better, there's hope for the rest of us...or does it mean we've all barely scratched the surface?
(That's my Jerry Springer Thought for the Day.)