Constant Comparing

“I have seen too many men driven insane by their distractions” — Brendan Perry, DCD   

I don’t know if you have realized this, but there is a problem with Facebook and other social networking websites. We try so hard to paint a picture of how we want the world to see us.

Always comparing ourselves to others… Better job, car, house, better looking wife/husband, accomplishments of our children. It is like we all live in some huge, twisted reality show.

I was recently reminded of that ill habit of comparing yourself to others when I heard my friend talk about his job.

He has a well paid job, working mostly from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M, 5 days a week, with very little overtime and with his boss rarely being in the office throughout the whole work day. Still, he is not satisfied. He wants more.

And let me explain myself, it is not a bad thing to want better for yourself, but when that urge comes from comparing and measuring yourself to others… Houston, we got a problem!

The sad thing in his case is that he is not grateful or appreciative of things and benefits that he actually has. So he is constantly whining and feeling miserable. Why? Because some of his friends earn more and have more.

The thing he is missing to realize is that they work more, much more. And that is not even the point.

I have to admit, I used to feel similar while watching popular beauty gurus on YouTube. They seemed to have so much makeup, and go to all kinds of glamorous places, meet famous people, etc. In comparing to their lives, my life seemed so small and insignificant.

I felt that it was unfair that they are given so much. What I was failing to grasp is the fact that I was only seeing a part of their life, a glamorous and posh side. The fact that they probably had to work really hard to get where they are and sacrificed so much was left unseen to me.

Isn’t it the truth that we have selective consciousness most of the times? We pick and choose what we want to see and make it distorted, unwholesome truth. And we suffer so much because of that.

So, I finally became conscious of the obvious truth that was in front of me all this time.

We are all so different. From the day we were born or even before that, our life path is being laid with a unique bricks of love, friendship, heartache and pain. By our genes and life experiences we are molded into one of a kind person, with specific desires, needs and abilities.

There could not be a greater insult to ourselves, but to compare our lives and our accomplishments to others. Even if they are very close to you, you still don’t know their life as well you (should) know your own. Why spend time thinking about someone else’s life, when you can focus on your own?

Be honest to yourself. First, try to grasp the reality of the present situation. Where are you now, both mentally and physically? Are you satisfied? What would you change?

Also, try to be reasonable. It won’t help you if you would say to yourself: “Tomorrow, I would love to have one billion dollars”.

Start small and build and work on your dreams. But remember always be grateful for the things you have, your family and friends, because someone might be deprived of those privileges.

If you really have an overpowering desire to compare, do it within yourself. That is how I got rid of that harmful habit of measuring up to other people.

Reflect back, few days, months, years. Is there some improvement? If there is, you will have a beautiful well of motivation to inspire you to keep going. Even if you can’t see any progress, you can set a goal for yourself, something small, but still worth fighting for. That way you will have a starting point, and won’t feel lost or hopeless.

We are here to learn and appreciate life. Be mindful of yourself, your life and good things that surround you. When you focus your attention on the positive aspects of everyday life, even the tiniest thing can make you rejoice!

Photo © by Michael Johnson

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12 Comments

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  1. Well said! This is all too true. Constantly comparisons is no way to find happiness and your own direction in life. Social media is definitely to blame, but when it comes down to it, it’s up to the individual to focus on themselves!

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  2. From what I’ve learned in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens: Comparing is one of the Tumor Twins, the other being Competing. If we’re going to compete, then let’s just do it for fun, and if I were to compare, it would only be with myself. And besides, we can also get inspiration from others’ success, you know! Let’s think win-win (by the way, that’s Habit 4 in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens), alright!

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  3. Beautifully written. So much unnecessary pain comes from comparing ourselves with the others. The grass will always be greener on the other side, if you let yourself think that way! I love the idea of comparing within yourself and letting motivation inspire you.

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  4. That’s so true. One of the biggest obstacles to succeed is comparing yourself to others and then thinking that you’re never going to make it. Much better to look at yourself only and then start setting achievable goals and little by little, you will get there:)

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