“Comparison is the thief of joy.” ― President Theodore Roosevelt

I know that comparing myself to others is a recipe for discontent, but some mornings, when I sit at my desk in an open area of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, it’s impossible not to overhear a colleague describe how their thesis work just got millions in venture capital funding from Google or exclaim that they got a faculty interview at everyone’s dream school or take a call from a Forbes Tech reporter. I just (I must!) keep tapping on my keyboard, and use the most intellectually demanding problem at hand to distract me from the random thought-ripples and thought-waves of insecurity my colleagues’ astounding success has kicked off.

“Keep it about the work.” — President Barack Obama