The Arizal used to pour compliments on his disciple, R’ Chaim Vital zt”l and would even compare him to the great tana’im in the Mishna. When he objected stating that he doesn’t come close to their level, the Arizal explained that due to the tumah in the world in their generation, it’s very difficult to serve Hashem. Therefore, every small deed is comparable to many great deeds of the past generations.
This was 450 years ago. How much more so does this apply today!