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Nacho Cheese: A Cheesy Lesson on Avoiding Comparison

Nachos are tortillas with melted cheese and often other toppings (such as jalapenos). The name “nacho” comes from the name “Ignacio” of inventor Ignacio Anaya. Around 1943 a small group arrived at his restaurant after it had closed for the day, so chef Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya invented a new dish for them with what little he had available in the kitchen: tortillas and cheese. Anaya cut the tortillas into triangles and fried them, then added yellow Wisconsin cheese, calling the dish nachos especiales, or “Special Nachos.”

Well, in our house, “nachos” has a different meaning; and it stems from a corny joke:

Q: What do you call cheese that isn’t yours?

A: Nacho Cheese (i.e., “not your cheese”)

We use this in different ways at different times, but here are a few examples:

If we don’t want to share a snack, we say it’s “nachos.”

If there’s a gift bag lying around and someone asks what’s inside, the answer is almost always “nachos.”

Like I said, a bit corny, but we (okay, I) have used this simple word to answer other life questions because it holds a powerful lesson about the dangers of comparison.

As Theodore Roosevelt once famously said, comparison is the thief of joy. It can significantly impact our mental health and happiness, leading to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and even depression. Yet, we often find ourselves comparing ourselves to others, whether it's in terms of careers, relationships, or lifestyles.

For example, we might see someone else's success on social media and feel envious or "less than." Or we might compare our relationship to what we see in movies or TV shows, feeling like we're not measuring up. These types of comparisons are problematic because they are usually based on unrealistic standards or incomplete information.

So, how can we avoid falling into the trap of comparison?

Let’s go back to nachos. None of the things others have are yours.

Their career is their career. Nachos.

Their relationship is their relationship. Nachos.

Their lifestyle is their lifestyle. Nachos.

Their story is their story. Nachos.

I think you get the point. But here’s another...

You have your own story. And it’s not theirs.

You are unique. You have unique talents, skills, and passions that can contribute to the world in positive ways.

Life is a precious gift, and it's up to you to make the most of every moment and live a life that's fulfilling and meaningful. Don't settle for mediocrity and don’t forfeit a single second to the thief of comparison.

But to do that, you have to reframe your thoughts, focus on your unique journey, and ditch comparisons for good.

Here are a few practical tips that might help:

Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small.

Rather than focusing on what others have achieved, reflect on what you've accomplished. It could be something as simple as finishing a book or learning a new skill. By celebrating your achievements, you'll build confidence and feel more positive about your own journey.

Practice gratitude.

Take time each day to express gratitude for the good things in your life. This can help shift your focus away from what you lack and towards what you already have.

Learn from others, but don't compare yourself to them.

Instead of feeling envious of someone else's success, try to learn from their journey. What steps did they take to get where they are? What obstacles did they overcome? By looking at others as sources of inspiration rather than competitors, you'll feel more motivated to pursue your own goals.

In my own life, I‘ve found that letting go of comparison can lead to a more fulfilling and positive existence. When I stop focusing on what others are doing and celebrate my achievements, big and small, I feel more confident and content. I hope that these tips will help you do the same.

Remember, "nacho cheese" may be an unsophisticated joke, but it also holds a powerful lesson about the dangers of comparison.

Don't let comparison steal your joy. Embrace your unique story and celebrate your accomplishments.

You'll be amazed at just how awesome you are!

Dedicated to your success,


"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace." - 1 Peter 4:10 (ESV)

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