Habit Hack: Comparison is the Thief of Joy

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I had quite the a-ha moment when I heard the saying comparison is the thief of joy for the first time. I was a new mom feeling envious of all my mom friends who seemed to have their acts together better than I did, and it became a maxim I repeated to myself often. I still sometimes need to remind myself of the perils of comparing myself to others, and occasionally I find myself sharing this piece of wisdom with my students (usually in group lesson settings!).

If you’re an ukulele player comparing yourself to YouTubers, instagrammers, or people from your last uke workshop, you’re robbing yourself of the joy and pride that comes along with learning a new skill. I’d much rather you spent your time and energy enjoying your music-making and playing at your own pace. There will always be more to learn, and you’ll have a lot more fun if you lighten up and appreciate your own progress.

One of the biggest challenges beginning ukulele players face is figuring out how to get in the habit of playing consistently. This post is one of many in a weekly series called Habit Hacks, and every week I post a new tip to help you build and maintain a consistent ukulele practice. Check back each Thursday for a new tip!


I’m Melissa Stevenson, a music-maker, ukulele teacher, and author of Let’s Play! The Ukulele Handbook for Beginners. On the Musical Mama blog, I post practical and inspiring tips for beginning ukulele players, free music-themed downloads, and video tutorials to make learning to play the ukulele as straightforward and fun as possible. Let’s play!

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