I caught myself in comparison mode the other day. Looking at a car that drove past me I made sure as soon as I got home, I opened my laptop to look it up, see how much it would cost and begin to crunch numbers.

Until I asked the important question. Why?

I couldn’t answer it. I didn’t have a reason why other than seeing someone around my age, in this car, and comparing ourselves. With no context. No understanding. Nada.

I’d caught myself in a dangerous game of comparison that made me realise it wasn’t the first time. I realised that these behaviours had impacted some of my purchases in the past, impacted my vision of the future and had impacted my mental health on occasions.

Not good.

Once I took the step back things became a bit clearer and objective, allowing me to give a bit of context (or remove false context) from situations so that I make better decisions.

And then I took another step back and looked at L&D, and noticed I might have seen this in our own work, too.

With advancements in technology (or just updating names so they sound like new technology!), platforms and our understanding of learning I’m convinced we’ve all got caught in this comparison game before. It’s no-ones fault particularly, and we may not have done it on purpose, before anyone points that out to me.

It’s made me question some of my decisions in supporting learning. Have I chosen by what’s really important, or by what’s important to others? Am I forging my own path, or following one forged by somebody else (with little context as to why)?

So, before you make your next decision (personal or professional) take a step back and ask who’s making the decision. See if it makes a difference.



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  1. Really great food for thought, Jack! Alongside comparison is complacency. Are we doing things because we feel like we need to “keep up with the Joneses” or “it’s the way we’ve always done it”. Both are slippery slopes! Finding that sweet spot in the middle ground means staying vigilant and self aware, but also the business needs to be aware. I think that’s the tricky bit.

    Thanks for sharing so openly!


    1. Thank you Sarah!

      That’s true, I’ve come to really hate the Joneses whoever they are. I wonder who they’re trying to keep up with that’s made them that way?

      It’ll always be tricky, if it was easy we’d never do it!


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