I often hear this: "When I hear him play, I want to sell my guitar/banjo/mandolin/whatever".
Hmm. What exactly do you mean with that? I understand that it's an expression to say that a certain musician is brilliant. But like, don't you enjoy playing music anymore just because there are others who are better? Aren't you allowed to play just because there are others who are better?
Everybody can't be (insert name of brilliant musician here). But you can still enjoy playing, and people can still enjoy your music.
Personally I've stopped comparing myself to others, because it's useless. I will never be like Norman Blake, Tim O'Brien or Noel Hill, but I can get inspiration from their playing, try to copy the bits that I like, try to learn some of it, and continue playing, and enjoy it. The only person I compare myself with is - myself. The level I was at a few years ago, compared to now. That's inspiring, to see my own progress.
Today I picked up the guitar, for the first time since ages. I've been learning some fingerpicking, but today I first did some flatpicking. I quite soon took up the fingerpicks again, because I've become so used to that that I adapt the same patterns with flatpicking, which doesn't work particularly well (because of different picking directions, etc). So this means that fingerpicking (in a simple Maybelle Carter style) has become a habit and is natural for me now. This is great! I have lots, lots and lots to learn, but it's in my muscle memory somehow and that is good.
I usually don't enjoy those so-called brilliant kids on You Tube that people continue to put on Facebook. They are usually kids who play blazing fast on their instrument, but really, do they play well? Or do they just play fast and it sounds impressive because of the speed?
I prefer musicians who can play at speeds that are adapted to the type of tune, and who can do it beautifully, with a good tone. I may get the cyber mandolin mob after me now, but I don't like Bill Monroe's playing. He's made some lovely tunes, but his playing was rather sloppy. I prefer those who can play with a nice tone. And, while the early videos of the Tuttle kids were lovely to see because it's always good to see kids learn to play bluegrass, they would have played better at a more normal speed.
I may be boring, but I like music made well.