“The only person you’re truly competing against, Wesley, is yourself.”

From: Star Trek: The Next Generation

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Captain Jean-Luc Picard

The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the Captain of the NCC-1701-D, AKA the Enterprise, Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Unlike his predecessor, who had a habit of charging in full force into trouble, Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) is a more calm and strategic thinking, preferring to take a more logical and level-headed manner to resolve issues.

The quote comes from the closing moments of the Season 1 episode entitled “Coming of Age.” One of the stories in the episode deals with Wesley Crusher taking the entrance exam for Starfleet Academy. He does not get in but not for lack of trying. Wesley is disappointed with himself and apologizes to Picard for letting him and the entire crew of the Enterprise down. Picard tries to comfort the boy by asking him if he tried his best. This is when he delivers the quote to encourage him.

Geek wisdom:  People tend to take too much stock in how people think of them or how they stack up against each other. We try to compare ourselves with others and then ask ourselves how to outdo what they did. In actuality, the best way to do better in life tomorrow is to try to outdo what we are today.

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