I happened to read a quote "If you try to be the best, you will be number one. If you try to be unique you will be the only one." Quotes have often driven me crazy. It's a power pack of someone's life experiences. However, it may not necessarily be the one implacable in general. It lets me dig in for some time to see how it works for me. After all we humans are selfish beings, everything we do revolves around us and our experiences. :)
Now with respect to the above quote, who sets the standards for being number one? Who is the one being compared to? I understand one trying to learn from people who already have achieved in a certain field. Again, whom we chose to learn from is completely dependent on what we are. But comparing? Does that lead us anywhere? hmmm comparing only helps when it is applied to self. It helps us to be the best version of ourselves when we compare our older version with the current. Otherwise, it only leads to rat races. Today, we are in an eco-system that is rate race-driven. So I can bet one thing that in most cases, the comparison is not on its right scale.
If you ask me, one should neither try to compare with others nor try to be unique. The platform on which comparison is done might be baseless until and unless rules are set, competitors are known and in agreement, and there exists a supportive ecosystem. In life, such a scenario never exists. It's we who create the rules and we who break them for convenience. Now, trying to be unique also is a form of comparison, if that leads to being the only one, then so does the comparison. We are very sadly run on likes, not on values. "Values" are transparent across the environment and people, "likes" change with people and the environment.
One should just be true to oneself and try to think out of the box. After all, every new creation/idea is an existing idea explored out of the box. :)