Comparison.

Sergey Leshchenko
3 min readApr 2, 2024

Yesterday I went for a coffee with a friend who told me that some guy he knows earned 20k on retro-drops in a 90-day turnaround.
I listened carefully to the story though the only question that persisted in my mind was why he was telling me this in the first place…

Exercise Comparison with Aligned Values. (c.)

The answer to this question lies within our potent intrinsic tendency to compare ourselves not even to “that guy”, but to the singular outcome that that guy has achieved.

In my robust belief, whereas we are compelled by the short-term gain of a particular individual, that’s where comparison is the most dangerous, subconscious, beast.

Why do I say it’s subconscious? — Because we don’t normally concede that we compare ourselves to others, although it happens almost automatically and what’s worse, affects our self-esteem.

I’m 33 years old, turning 34 at the end of a month, and I know for certain that every single venture in life requires sacrifices, either personal or professional. Sometimes they converge, and we need to sacrifice one for another, but more often than not, we undertake this or that risk not even realizing what it’s gonna cost us in due course.

Funny, but the bitter truth of life: you get to decide what to pass on in pursuit of whatever ambition but never truly understand the real cost of success.

Brian Chesky, a co-founder of Airbnb blatantly spoke to this matter on The Diary of CEO podcast, revealing that he didn’t have real human connections in the unicorn-building years. He gave the impression of a lonely person who only now recaptures what it means to be alive and have people you can call friends.

I can testify to Brian’s sentiment. In my IT start-up years, I sacrificed relationships with friends, sleep, creativity, dating, and more of the same for the sake of what I thought would compensate all the aforementioned later. The reality of the matter: it can’t. I was, too, blinded by the hype I saw around other IT entrepreneurs and was pulled by the shiny mighty buck. And this is the wormhole I want to warn people against.

When comparing — make sure you understand if the values of the human being you compare yourself to coincide with yours. If they don’t — never ever try to replicate his or her path. It’s a sinking ship.

Any poker player or life strategist will teach you that fortune-building means absolutely positively nothing if you can't do 3 things:

  • sustain and build on it;
  • determine the purpose beyond money;
  • make people around you better.

And if someone we know hits the jackpot, make sure it serves as a nice healthy reminder that everything is possible and does not trigger the feeling of envy, which is a weapon of mental health destruction.

As I close, I want to rephrase Simon Sinek’s quote on passion: passion shouldn’t be result-driven, it should be based on the feeling you get when you are involved in a process.

We get all sorts of temptations throughout our lives, including delusional shortcuts, that seemingly do not cost that much to try. But every time you assess if the game is worth the candle, account for not only tangible resources you invest but for those intangibles such as mental health, love of the process, and desire to associate yourself with what you do.

In the end, my humble take on this is that we should only compare ourselves to ourselves from the past, and use the criteria that can, and even should, change while we grow and better understand ourselves. (c.)

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Sergey Leshchenko

I’m a Proud Ukrainian. I write in 2 languages. Mostly about business and personal development. I have co-founded DexDigital. Now I develop Beverly English.