If you want to drain your mental energy, there is one easy way to do so: compare yourself with others. Comparing yourself with others will only give you two things: either you feel proud when you are above, or you feel jealous and intimidated when you are below. As you can see, both are negative emotions that won't do you any good.
Unfortunately, our culture is full of comparisons. People like to compare themselves with others.
While some people may say that comparing is a way to motivate themselves, I think there is a better way to do that without draining our mental energy. Here it is:
Find a role model and use him as a pacer.
A role model is someone whose quality and achievements you admire. It's no secret that the way to be great is by emulating those who are great. By finding the right role model, you will have concrete example of the qualities you want to achieve. Since those qualities are now tangible, it will be much easier for you to run after them. By selecting the right role model and running after him, you will quickly improve yourself.
Here are some steps to apply this principle:
Stop looking at others' statistics
This is the way to stop comparing yourself with others. I know this is not easy to do since we have the tendency to compare ourselves with others. But, as I've said above, this will only drain your mental energy. So resist the temptation to look at others?statistics for comparison sake.
Look around for someone whom you want to emulate
Instead of comparing, you should find someone you want to emulate. This is perhaps the most difficult step here because it's not easy to find the right role model. Your role model should:
have significant achievements that you want to emulate (in this case, you do need to look at his statistics)
not so far ahead that you can't realistically hope to run after him
have performed well consistently for long time
have other characteristics that are similar to you or your situation
The last point is important. There are perhaps some persons who have the achievements you want, but--looking at their characteristics--they are very different from you. In that case, it will be too difficult and unnatural to emulate them. The more similar their characteristics with yours, the more natural it will be to emulate them.
While you can choose some models to emulate, in my opinion it is better to have only one main role model. Just like having one goal make it easier for you to achieve it, having one main role model make it easier for you to emulate him. Of course, you are unique, so you also need to learn from other models to find the unique combination that fits you, but still, having one main model is helpful.
Look closely at how your role model does things
To emulate your role model, you should find out the details of how he or she does things. Watch your role model closely. Study his work, life, and methods. Try to dissect the traits and actions that make him successful.
Set some actions to take based on your findings
You should then turn your findings into some actions you can take. These are the things you can do to bring you closer to your model's achievements.
Set your role model's current statistics and quality as your target
As I wrote above, your role model acts as a pacer. So set his statistics and quality as your target to run after. Of course, you should not blindly try to match the numbers. Adjust things to match your unique circumstances.
Aim to emulate your role model as quickly as possible
To make sure that you do not just sit down and relax, you should make a decision to run as fast as you can.
Your role model may have been ahead of you when you reach his current level of achievement, but that's fine. The most important thing is you run as fast as you can.