The deadly compare-and-contrast bug

It’s 5 O’clock in the morning. I’ve been awake since 3am. Seems little point in going back to sleep now so here I am confessing what’s on my mind.

The deadly compare-and-contrast bug – that’s what.

The reason I woke at 3am was because my mind suddenly went into a panic about the Artist’s Way course I’m running in September. Am I charging too much? Someone yesterday hinted they thought it was expensive. Maybe I’ve got it wrong. But I think it’s worth it. But maybe I’m wrong.

You know how it goes in your mind at this time in the morning?

So then I had the bright idea of scouring the internet for other Artist Way courses. Funny – in 2005 when I last did this search there was no evidence of Artist’s Way courses that I could find – now Google tells me there are loads. And my course is definitely one of the most expensive. Hmmm.

So is it good in this case to go with the gut that says I should value this work for what I believe it’s worth or do I follow what everyone else is doing?


Now a ball has started rolling. A ball with a bug in it. The compare and contrast bug.



And then it happened. In my searching I came across another UK site called . And what’s more she talks about the Artist’s Way in there too. What?!

The lady running the site started in May this year – after me. Now, I’m sure this is just a coincidence  – a meeting of like minds – but we all like to think we’re unique don’t we? And the thing that really p’s me off? Her site is GOOD.

Oh, god, the bug has just grown to elephant proportions! I feel like I’ve become a character in a Kafka novel.

I’m not original. I’m not any fun. My blog’s not juicy enough. Everyone out there is doing it better….. blah, boo, aggh, ugh.

OK clearly I need to pull myself together here. This is my happiness experiment after all. So what do I do?

This quote I found is a good start:

“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.”  ~Unknown


I’ve lost sight of what makes me, me. The fact that I have become the bug is really an invitation: it’s time to get re-aquainted with myself.

Hello, what’s your name?

Hi, my name is T.

Tell me about you, T.

Well – hmm, let’s see, well, I guess the best way to explain is by showing  you …

And it really helps to know that all this is just an infinitessimally small slice.

So my lesson for today?

If I get the compare and contrast bug take it as a sign that I’ve lost sight of myself. I’m not going to find myself  ‘Out There’. Even if I got all my friends now to say lovely things about me, it’s not where it’s at. The real antidote comes from me tuning again to me and all my complex, quirky, mad, sad, bad, hum-drum, curious, joyous, questing, creative, busy, apologetic, angry, blah, experimental, hopeful, grateful, (I could go on), sides of myself.

Cliche, I know, but – like a snowflake. Unique. Beautiful. One of many who are unique and beautiful. Like you.

Choose and be free

April showers. Grey clouds. All a bit blah here this afternoon. So do I dare to be happy despite this?

I’m on a course at the moment with Landmark Education ( I highly recommended their flagship course ‘The Forum’, by the way, I did it some years ago and it completely changed my life –you can see a video about it here). The course I’m currently on is about …. you’ve guessed it, Happiness! One of the things they are drilling into us is that it is not our circumstances that lead to happiness (or lack of it) but our choices. We live our lives as if what we see before us is the rock solid ‘truth’, when, in fact, many truths are available if we choose a different thought about it. Listen to rap music. Some will hear it as noise – that’s their truth – but others will be inspired. Either party can change their reality at any time with a simple flick of thought.

So is today grey, rainy, blah and flat? Perhaps but it could also be all about giving the land a much needed drink. It’s a perfect excuse for sitting inside with a cup of tea, writing my blog. Days like this make the sunnier days feel even sunnier. I look forward to those! It’s all a bit like a radio. We never have to get stuck with rap if our thing is classical. Just turn your dial to another station.

What ‘truth’ are you living inside of today? Can you tune in to something more pleasing?  Choose and be free!


Oh, and by the way, if you’d like to find out more about Landmark and their courses, why not come along with me to Bristol next Wednesday – they’re having an open evening on my Happiness Course. I’d love to host you!