I really like the above quote. Einstein, although almost absurdly brilliant himself, remained grounded enough that he valued those with less "successful" minds. Though he himself was what this world would consider to be a success, he recognizes the variance between success and value. Oscar Wilde gets this too:
Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
This may be a mildly cynical view of mankind, but holds much truth. And I like Einstein's quote a bit better (it's more positive too, which always helps) so I'll focus on that.
I've compared myself with others on many an occasion. Lately, it's been more in the realm of looking at those with internships/those who appear to know what they're doing with their lives in contrast with my wonderful tragedy of knowing exactly what I want during university and knowing nothing about what I'll do with myself following this stage of my life. Sometimes it brings me down, but at other times I know that I can accomplish more (both to the benefit of myself and others) with my wide array of skills and the plethora of possibilities possible upon entering the so called "real world". My version of being accomplished looks vastly different from many of the future successful business men and women of America (and beyond!). And that's okay.
I don't really know if what I'm saying is making sense. Sorry, inter-webs.
Anyway, when you look at yourself and see a lack of "success", think about the value that you bring to the table and to the lives of others. Think of the things you truly value and pursue and focus on them. (If you value getting fat and doing nothing but watching Bachelor re-runs, I'll probably judge you, but hey that's your dream.)
And on the flip-side, when you feel like a huge success, be sure to reorient yourself periodically, checking your priorities to ensure that you are living a life of value and sustenance.
You don't need to be perfect, and you don't need to be successful to find joy in life. But if you are successful, hey that's awesome.
Things that I particularly value at this stage in my life:
- seeing the world from different perspectives
- education: not tests and class necessarily, but knowledge
- relationships, loving each other
Those things may not get me far in life (not the way I use them), but they're important to me.