“Comparison is the thief of joy.” —Theodore Roosevelt
If you want to be happier and jump-start your life, give up the comparisons. The comparison to your brother, sister, mother, father, aunt uncle, cousin, friend, etc. Give up the comparison of your life to someone else’s, your business to another, your site to another and especially your family to another. Comparing yourself will do nothing more that invite pain, anger, frustration and depression. It will kill ideas and impede your progress. It’s worthless.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t be competitive or have goals. Those are completely different from looking at someone or something else and comparing yourself and your life to them or it. Comparisons are like eating bad and empty calories. They fill you up, but are only working against your health. They do nothing positive for you
Plenty of us have built the horrible habit of scrolling through social media every 5 minutes for hours on end. I’m no exception, but I’m a lot better at not doing so than I used to be. Well, every time we look at social media, what do we see? We see all the good stuff, the highlights of one’s life for the most part. We see the accomplishments, the vacations, the good times with friends and so on. We don’t see the arguments with spouses, frustration with children, stress of work and school, past due bills, rejection letters, and so a.k.a real life. This is understandable because who really wants to see the depressing side of life?
The problem comes when we begin to compare ourselves and our life to the highlights of another. We trick ourselves to believe that their life is the way it’s portrayed on social media at all times, when the fact of the matter is that those people that we are comparing ourselves to have their own struggles that we are not aware of. As we continue to scroll through our social media feeds, we tend to throw ourselves into a depressive state. All because we’re comparing our entire life to a single moment of someone else’s life.
Keeping Up with the Joneses
If you have never heard of the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” then allow me to enlighten you. The phrase is used for those that compare themselves to another’s social and materialistic status and attempt to gain and maintain the same status at any costs. For example, we see that our neighbor got a new truck, so we go out and purchase a new vehicle regardless if we need one or not. We see one of our friends take a vacation, so we take a vacation whether it was planned or if we can even afford it.
We do these things because we’re comparing ourselves, our lives to lives of others. We bury ourselves in debt to keep up so that the comparisons we are killing ourselves with are not as bad. We jeopardize our standard of living and key relationships with friends and family basically for an image. Before we know it, we’re living someone else’s life. We’re not living our own. We’re wearing the clothes that someone else likes, driving the car that someone else loves and living in a home that is only comfortable to someone else. Then we find ourselves unhappy. As Will Smith said,
“too many people are buying things they can’t afford, with money that they don’t have… to impress people that they’re don’t like!”
It starts with comparisons that are unnecessary.
There is Always Better
Here is the thing that I found out as a young athlete. There is always, always someone who is better than you. Bigger, stronger, faster, smarter, more talented and so on. They are out there. They are always out there no matter how much better you get. This rings true in the rest of life. There will always be someone who makes more money, has a bigger house, a newer car and other things that you don’t and may not ever have. It’s a never-ending cycle. But, this does not mean that you don’t or can’t have a great life. It does not mean that you aren’t or can’t be happy. That is something that we need to acknowledge. Acknowledge it, focus on yourself, your progress, your relationships, quit the relationships and discover true happiness in life.
When you compare yourself, you tend to focus on someone else. When you focus on someone else, you can’t focus on yourself. How are you going to live the life you want if you are not focusing on yourself? How are you even going to figure out the life you want if you don’t focus on yourself? You can’t. It’s time to quit the comparisons and focus. Focus on you.
Quit comparing yourself and your life to others and be happy.