“Comparison to others can have a positive impact on your life. Apply it with curiosity and embrace the opportunity to inspire growth.”
Image from Unsplash by NorWood Themes
Most of us have experienced the dark side of making comparisons to others. Social media, in particular, has raised it to exponential levels.
What are some examples you’ve seen or experienced directly?
What negative and lingering consequences are easily observable in the people around you?
Alternatively, where and when has making comparisons propelled you toward greater mastery and achievement?
Who are the mentors, coaches, and role models that encourage and motivate you to be your best?
How do their examples help you tap into your own reservoirs of courage, tenacity, and persistence to realize far more of your potential?
Where and how could a more positive curiosity toward comparison with others inspire greater growth and achievement in your personal and professional life?
“If you’re not willing to do a wholesale 24/7,100% swap with who that person is, then there is no point in being jealous.”
—Naval Ravikant, Indian-American entrepreneur and investor
Image from Unsplash by PCM
What did you want to be when you were a kid? Who were your heroes, and how often did you imagine being them?
What about these days?
How often do your thoughts detour to trading places with the rich and famous? If you were to find a magic lamp, how would you use those wishes to swap out your life for some alternative picture of perfect?
Where do you currently feel the pangs of envy and jealousy?
Who are the people you actually know that seem to have it all? How do you feel around them when your habit of making comparisons kicks in?
Take a closer look at your life.
If possible, dig below the surface of your initial superlative assessments of others.
Perhaps they may actually be a bit jealous of you.
“My wish isn’t to mean everything to everyone but something to someone.”
—Oscar Wilde, 19th Century Irish poet and playwright
Image from Unsplash by NorWood Themes
When we compare ourselves to others, we often focus on how many of them are ahead of us.
By trying to make up ground and get to the front of the pack, we often spread our efforts very thin and rarely make the significant difference we intend.
Sometime when we try to go big we and others would be far better off if we stayed home.
How would focus on fewer relationships at home be far more impactful than going an inch deep and a mile wide?
“A crown, if it hurts us, is not worth wearing.”
—Pearl Bailey, 20th century American actress, singer and author
Image from Unsplash by Nathan Mcgregor
What are the ways that you and others measure success?
How do you keep score to know if you are winning?
How near or far are you from being king or queen of the hill?
Status is one way people measure themselves and others. Think about the business world, entertainment, sports, politics, the military, social media, and other areas of life in which people compare and contrast where they stand.
Where have you noticed or personally experiences the pain of personal and professional status?
Where does wearing the crown of status present a cost far too high to pay?
“One key to knowing joy is to be easily pleased.”
Image from Unsplash by NordWood Themes
We live in a world of constant comparison. It is driving many of us crazy.
Foolishly we believe that constantly pursuing excellence in all things is a sign of worldliness and higher status. Consider this list:
- The vehicle you drive
- The food you eat
- Where you went to school
- Your career or job
- Your home
- Your family and friends
- Where you go on holiday or vacation
- The water you drink
When we see ourselves as special, deserving only the best, we can become isolated. When no one or no-thing can meet our high standards on every occasion we are guaranteed to be let down.
What if instead, we seek to discover the specialness in all things that come our way as a path toward greater joy and happiness?
Consider reading Factfulness by Hans Rosling. I am sure you will be even more easily pleased with your life.
“Counting other people’s sins does not make you a saint.”
Image from Unsplash by Tanner Mardis
What does it mean to live a good and meaningful life?
How important is it for you to be kind, thoughtful, generous, and of service?
Where do you see yourself on the saint-to-sinner spectrum of human behavior?
Many of us look at life and others with a critical eye. We often make comparisons to justify our predominate good-deed-doing status, and give ourselves pretty good marks on most days.
How many “brownie points” it takes to get into Heaven, no one knows. Keeping score of other’s sins is unlikely to increase your chances. Finding fault may actually be the type of sin we all should avoid.
How can and will you more fully express your values through virtuous actions?
Where and how can you more fully seek and find the saintly efforts within your personal and professional communities?
“How are you doing at keeping up with yourself?”
When someone asks How are you doing?, where do you go to look for your answer?
Far too often, many of us look to compare our lots in life with those displayed in the media. This comparison with others can be a slippery slope, often leaving many feeling stressed, anxious, and even depressed.
Many authorities suggest that a more empowering and positive approach is to focus primarily on bettering oneself and only competing with the person you were yesterday.
What actions and efforts are you taking these days to not only keep up but exceed your previous self?
Consider engaging the support of a coach, mentor, friend, or family member to increase the likelihood of success.
“Govern thy life and thy thoughts as if the whole world were to see the one and read the other.”
—Thomas Fuller, 17th Century English Churchman/Historian
Image from Unsplash by Deniz Göçmen
What have you been doing these days? What have you been thinking about over the past few months? How pleased are you by what you and the world are seeing in your efforts and overall character?
Comparing oneself to others can be a slippery slope with a considerable down side. But examining the best qualities of others can be an excellent form of coaching by the example certain individuals set for us to emulate.
Look for the qualities of generosity, compassion, empathy, kindness, and courage as these individuals navigate their days to serve their communities while – hopefully – taking care of their own well being.
When you look in the mirror tonight, observe how pleased you feel about how you spent your day. What tweaks or significant adjustments to your actions and thinking will generate greater satisfaction when you look in the mirror tomorrow?
“Happiness is the harvest of a quiet eye.”
—Austin O’Malley, 20th Century ophthalmologist and professor
image from Unsplash by Paz Arando
Who are the people in your personal and professional communities who experience the most Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)?
And those who seem to be always gazing over their neighbor’s fence to view what appears to be a greener, better manicured lawn?
To what degree do their comparisons and potential envy sap their happiness and satisfaction with life?
How do these questions apply to you?
Where would the quiet eye of looking more fully at the richness of your world help you harvest greater happiness?