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Who should you compare yourself to?

Former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is worth a billion dollars. But he told The Financial Times earlier this year that he considers himself well-to-do, not rich. “I can’t even say ‘rich’,” he said. “I don’t feel that way.” 

The folks at Collaborative Fund say he's not even the tenth richest person in his apartment building. So, it doesn't come as a surprise to me that he feels that way.

Whether we consider ourselves rich, smart, intelligent, good-looking, skilled, etc depends on who we are comparing ourselves to. Because none of these have a stand-alone objective way of going about it.

Which means we can influence how we feel about ourselves when it comes to these traits can be changed not just by becoming better at these things, but also by changing who we compare ourselves against. 

Comparing ourselves to a cohort that makes us feel better on these fronts is good for our happiness and satisfaction, but bad for our drive to progress and get better.

Comparing ourselves to a cohort that makes us feel inferior on these fronts is good for motivating us and inspiring us to be better, but bad for our happiness and satisfaction. 

The key lies in understanding this balance and determining what we need most at the moment. 

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