When I was an undergrad at a community college I loved to get such a high grade on a test I’d screw up the curve.
Obnoxious, but it gave me a rush.
When I got to law school, I also wanted to be the best but found myself in a much more elite crowd and ended up being in the bottom half of my class.
I was so upset about my failure to compete I dropped out.
Comparing ourselves to other is the game of the ego. When we’re on top we get to feel superior; when we’re at the bottom we feel despair. The trouble is we can never always be on top.
Instead of looking side to side at the other guys, be a thoroughbred and run your own race. The results are likely to be more interesting. As Seth Godin says, “The problem with competition is that it takes away the requirement to set your own path, to invent your own method, to find a new way… Competing with yourself is more difficult, requires more bravery and leads to more insight.”