When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.Lao Tzu
We are all victims of it, we look at other people’s Facebook account and see how happy they are, all the nice holidays they have, the new car, the new house, a brand new baby, the latest gadget and more. It is hard not to become envious as you look at people you deem you feel are doing better than you as you strive for your own comfort and idea of a perfect life but there are many things you must consider when you start feeling that your life isn’t as good as someone elses and in this blog post I will discuss reasons why it is important not to compare your life to others.
1. There life is a different journey
In life we all experience different things that end up making our lives what they are. The people we meet, the places we go, the family we are born into, the location in the world we are born. All these factors make us who we are and help/hinder us in every aspect of our life.
The person’s life you are looking at may have had some more lucky breaks than you but you must never compare your life journey to someone elses, we all have something to learn and experience and your life is totally unique to you no matter what you have experienced and when you realise this you will realise just how rich you are already.
You can’t compare an apple to an orange. It will cause a lot of self-esteem issues.Craig Sheffer
2. They are older than you
Everyone wants levels of comfort that allows us to live in peace and happiness that usually is achieved when you are older in life due to having more experience. When you look at another person and you see they have everything you want in your life such as a nice home, nice car and a happy family remember that when you are older you too will reap the rewards with hard work.
Even if the person is the same age as you but much more ‘successful’ (whatever that means to you) go back to stage 1 and realise that your path is different and you have learnt many things that the person you are envious of hasn’t down their path.
“I can do what Olympians couldn’t do. Of course they couldn’t do it because they were infants when I picked a moment in time to compare myself to them.”
― Jarod Kintz
3. Materialism doesn’t necessarily bring happiness
When those around you can afford ( or appear to ) buy the latest gadget, house, car or other material item it can bring a sense of sadness that you can’t also afford the item. Getting something new has ‘temporary happiness’ but after a while the new object becomes common place and is no longer creating the owner as much joy. The realisation that materialism isn’t necessarily going to bring you happiness is an important part of personal growth and mental wellbeing and that not being able to afford anything your heart desires may be a stroke of luck.
Character is greater than talent, genius, fame, money, friends – there is nothing to compare with it. A man may have all these and yet remain comparatively useless – be unhappy – and die a bankrupt in soul.George Matthew Adams
4. The facade can be different to what is going on behind the scenes
From the outside looking in, particularly on the likes of Facebook, people’s lives can look all rosey and full of only good times. Well ask yourself this, who in the world posts their worst times on social media!? Nobody! Everyone puts on a facade to make themselves look happier than they actually are and you don’t always see the whole story. Many of the happiest and funny people in the world to use on the ‘facade’ are actually quite depressed and sad inside so do not be so quick to judge others as ‘better off’, you rarely know the whole picture.
5. It’ll bring you down and lower your mood
The worst point about comparing your life to someone elses is that it will bring you down. My mother always said
‘you will always find someone better off than you and always someone worse off too’
and although I hate to admit it, she was right. There is always going to be someone better off than you and it is something that can help you realise that its important to be content in your situation so that when things improve you aren’t still competing with the jones but just happy that you are a better you than you were yesterday.
6. Look at the good things you do have
When we look at others we sometimes forget the good things we already have. Each of us , regardless of background have something to be happy for but its not necessarily the same thing someone else is happy for.
Sometimes doing the little book of gratitude can help you going from a place of envy looking out to looking within your personal circle and seeing that your life is absolutely full of riches. Read the article about the gratitude book here.
7. Life has many twists and turns, your luck may be around the corner
You may have been through the wars over the years and you can’t believe how things have turned out. One bad experience after the other but ‘every cloud has a silver lining‘. No one knows what tomorrow will bring and it could be that your luck is going to change. For instance, the founder’s life seemed to be in total disarray back in 2011 with many years bad luck when finally things began to change in 2012 and now things are constantly on the up.
You just need to hold tight sometimes and keep believing things can change because they quite often do.
“You will be bitter in life, when you compare yourself with others.Run the race of life at your own pace.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita
8. Be happy for people
Seeing other people happy is one of the greatest joys of life. Yes we want to feel comfort and be able to do what we want when we want in life but having ‘things’ isn’t necessarily the answer to our own sense of happiness even if we think it is. Being happy for others brings a sense of happiness within your heart and stops you from feeling down.
The smile of another can be one of the most rewarding things to experience and instead of being envious of the fact you don’t have ‘what they have’ it can help you felt contented.
“Judgment…is one of the ego’s tools to foster separation through comparison.”
― Peter Santos
9. Knowing yourself is the greatest wealth you can possess
Rather than looking out at others and seeing what your life is missing looking within is the most important thing you can do. Ignore the things you don’t have but want, those things can be goals to achieve in the future.
“How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.”
― Marcus Aurelius
Keep focusing on what you do have. Whenever you feel yourself comparing your life with envy to someone elses, say to yourself “I am so happy because I have_______________ and I am so grateful”. Be happy for people who find happiness and have been successful and you too will notice your world change from feeling like you “have nothing” to “having a lot” and not needing anything.
How do you stop yourself from comparing your situation to others? Do you find contentment in little joys and what you already have? Do you have your own reasons you shouldn’t compare your life to others? Please comment in the box below.
“Comparison is the death of joy.”
― Mark Twain